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 celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.