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Justice Cannot Wait: Tell Your Senators to Fill Judicial Vacancies Immediately

Background:

 

Our nation’s well being depends on the smooth functioning of the judicial system and on the checks and balances it ensures as one of the three co-equal branches of government established by our Constitution. Right now, the system is off-balance.

 

The US's federal courts currently lack enough judges to hear cases and there are an unnerving number of judicial emergencies, a term that describes courts that have been unable to function at full capacity for an extended period of time and have an excess caseload due to a lack of judges.

Throughout much of the 112th and 113th Congresses, obstructionism prevented well-qualified nominees from being confirmed at a reasonable pace. The consequence is that an ever-growing number of Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to have their day in court. A vacancy crisis is occurring that isn’t only bad for democracy; it impacts every single issue that we care about. From immigration to employment discrimination cases, to cases of religious liberty, Americans are waiting far too long for justice.


We applaud the Senate for closing the 113th Congress by confirming a number of judicial nominees, helping to alleviate the burden of judicial emergencies and vacancies on the federal court system and on the process of seeking justice. Call on your Senators to urge them to continue confirming qualified nominees to restore balance to our system and enable to courts to work for those they are supposed to serve.

 


Jewish Values:

 

Jewish tradition teaches the importance of fair and impartial courts. In Exodus 18:21, Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, advises him to choose capable, trustworthy, and law abiding members of society to judge the people. Elsewhere we are taught of the ethical obligation to oppose unjust persons and unfair judgments; judges should neither “favor the poor [n]or show deference to the rich” (Leviticus 19:15). Further, in Deuteronomy, God proclaims to the people of Israel, "you shall not judge unfairly: you shall show no partiality; you shall not take bribes, for bribes blind the eyes of the discerning and upset the plea of the just. Justice, justice, shall you pursue" (16:19-20). The responsibility to pursue justice extends beyond ensuring that we, ourselves, are behaving justly and judging fairly. We also have a responsibility to create a legal system that strives for balance and that treats all people equitably.

 

Take Action:

In the face of judicial vacancies and emergencies, we must urge our Senators to continue the work they did at the end of the 113th Congress to confirm qualified nominees. Please contact your Senators and urge them to fill judicial vacancies. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121 or you can send an email below. For more information, contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Rachel Chung at 202.387.2800.