Coalition for Jewish Values rejects criticism as “based in bigotry and bias”
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1500 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of public policy, today condemned criticism of Amy Coney Barrett, nominee to the US Supreme Court, based upon her religious views, membership in religious associations, or family. The rabbis deplored these attacks upon the nominee as “based in bigotry and bias.”
In Article VI, the Constitution of the United States requires that a federal officer “be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this Constitution.” As long as that condition is met, the Constitution proscribes questions about religion, stating that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust.”
Religious tests were common in England, used to “protect” the government “against perils from non-conformists of all denominations, infidels, turks, jews, heretics, papists, and sectaries.” Between Article VI and the First Amendment to the Constitution, the Founding Fathers made religious beliefs (or lack thereof) entirely irrelevant — the US Supreme Court later struck down state laws which prohibited clergy from holding office.
Contrary to these requirements, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) denigrated Barrett’s religious views when the latter was nominated to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, stating that “whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma… the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.” Similar “concerns” have been voiced again in the media.
“Invasion into a person’s family choices, including adoption, is simply reprehensible,” said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle, “while questions about her religious views violate the separation of church and state required by the US Constitution. The fact that critics must resort to such bigoted lines of attack indicate that on the relevant issues: her credentials, experience, jurisprudence and expertise — there is nothing to criticize.”
As a candidate, John F. Kennedy observed in 1960 that objections to his own Catholic faith could as easily be used against “a Jew, or a Quaker, or a Unitarian, or a Baptist.”
“If a person’s Jewish religious views were attacked in this fashion, we would immediately and correctly identify that as Antisemitism” added Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Vice President of the CJV, “and thus it is especially incumbent upon us to condemn it.”
The Coalition for Jewish Values, the largest rabbinic public policy organization in America, articulates and advocates for public policy positions based upon traditional Jewish thought.