WASHINGTON – Following President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland to fill the seat on the United States Supreme Court left vacant by the recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released this statement:

“Today President Obama demonstrated his fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law in the United States by nominating Judge Merrick B. Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. The President’s nomination was matched by a promise of incomprehensible inaction by a faction of obstructionist Senators. The issues before the Court – including many concerning religious freedom and the First Amendment – are too important not to be considered by a fully operational Supreme Court. If religious freedom is truly important to the United States Senate, they must act swiftly to give Judge Garland their full consideration.”

“As we would with any Supreme Court nominee, we have many questions for Judge Garland. How will he seek to balance America’s guarantee of religious freedom with the protection of equal rights for all? How will he maintain the progress we’ve seen in recent years to strike religious bigotry from our laws? And how will he ensure that no religious or racial minority is ever subject to discrimination, unjust scrutiny and exclusion from the rights and freedoms of American citizenship? A hearing in the Senate is a profound moment to ask and answer these critical questions – it is an outrage that so many in the Senate seem dead-set on denying Americans this opportunity.”

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.