Today, we called on Judge Brett Kavanaugh to withdraw his name for consideration for a seat on the United States Supreme Court.
As a matter of principle, historically, Interfaith Alliance has not endorsed or opposed nominees for government positions.
When Judge Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, we raised questions about his judicial standards and attitudes about the First Amendment, some of which were addressed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Though we were disappointed in most of his answers, we nonetheless refrained from suggestion to our supporters and to elected officials a specific course of action; we are of the firm belief that speaking in the name of faith on such decisions is contrary to our mission.
Now, however, we are faced with a different set of issues. Judge Kavanaugh’s alleged conduct toward girls and women and his habits regarding alcohol consumption raised questions about his fitness for the bench. His belligerent testimony before the Judiciary Committee on these subjects was understandable from a man made uncomfortable by public scrutiny of his past behavior but crossed a line into a political rant that raises questions about his impartiality in future cases.
We had hoped that a formal FBI investigation would offer a comprehensive picture of Judge Kavanaugh’s conduct and not merely a narrow-conceived inquiry into aspects of a particular incident. The wealth of representations from former and current friends and associates paints an inconsistent picture of his temperament, judgment and, unfortunately, honesty. We cannot support the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice who has demonstrated a pattern of playing fast and loose with the truth for his own benefit.
Though he has made clear that he is ‘not a quitter’, he has also claimed to have the best interests of the country ahead of his own. Surely, he can understand that, at this point, the well has been poisoned and his service on the bench would be inevitably tainted.
Should Judge Kavanaugh decline to withdraw, we invite you to join us in encouraging the members of the Senate to take these matters to heart and act in the best interests of the judiciary and the people of the United States.
Rabbi Jack Moline
President, Interfaith Alliance