May 1, 2009, Washington, DC -- In response to the news of Justice David Souter's retirement from the Supreme Court, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) President Nancy Ratzan issued the following statement, saluting Justice Souter and pledging NCJW’s active support for a nominee with a strong track record of commitment to constitutional values and rights:
"NCJW honors Justice David Souter's outstanding service to our nation during his tenure on the Supreme Court. Throughout his 18 years of service, he has kept faith with the constitution and the law, guided by empathy rather than extremism. His voice will be missed.
"The decision of whom to nominate to fill this upcoming vacancy may well be one of the most important that President Obama will make -- one that will have an impact well beyond his term in office. NCJW urges the President to select a nominee with a proven commitment to fundamental freedoms, including reproductive rights. We hope, too, that the President will seek to promote diversity on the Court by looking for a nominee from among the many highly qualified female and minority candidates.
"Since 2001, through our BenchMark judicial nominations campaign, NCJW has been educating and mobilizing our members and others about the impact that the courts have on virtually every aspect of our lives and about the need to engage in the process of filling lifetime seats on the federal bench. This is a critical time for individuals to speak out for a nominee who will uphold constitutional values, like equality, justice, and opportunity for all."
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
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For Immediate Release: May 1, 2009
Contact: Adrienne Ammerman or Mary Robbins, 202-588-5180
NWLC APPLAUDS JUSTICE SOUTER FOR PROTECTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS
Urges President Obama to Nominate a Person Worthy of Filling His Shoes
(Washington, DC) Marcia Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), thanked Justice Souter today for his many years of service on the Supreme Court. Her statement follows:
“In almost two decades on the Supreme Court, Justice David Souter has played a crucial role in many cases involving women’s legal rights, including upholding the constitutional guarantee of Equal Protection, statutory protections against sex discrimination in schools and in the workplace, the right to equal opportunity, and women’s right to abortion. Countless women across this country owe him a debt of gratitude.
“Every seat on the Supreme Court is of paramount importance to women. In the near future, the Supreme Court could consider challenges to some of the President’s important initiatives, including ensuring that job opportunities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are available to both women and men. It could also consider cases involving challenges to increasingly restrictive state abortion bans.
“It is absolutely critical to the women of this country that Justice Souter’s replacement has a strong commitment to upholding and enforcing their basic legal rights and protections.
“Given the number of highly qualified women – both on and off the bench – this appointment should be a woman. We have clearly moved past the days when one woman on the highest court in the land is sufficient.”
To view the NWLC fact sheet Justice Souter’s Important Role in Protecting Women’s Legal Rights, visit the website: http://www.nwlc.org/pdf/SouterRoleWomensRights.pdf.
To interview Marcia D. Greenberger, or for more about the National Women’s Law Center, contact Adrienne Ammerman at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-588-5180.