“1Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression,
2 to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!”
Isaiah 10:1-2 NRSV
As President Trump puts together a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness would like to offer a set of qualities and values that a faithful Supreme Court Justice should uphold. Those appointed to the lifetime honor of serving the highest court in the land should value the dignity of all people and the integrity of the constitution. Particularly, the nominee should:
- Affirm the right to public education, and support law that “ensure[s] that funds for equal educational opportunities are available to all students without reference to resources in their place of residence.” 1987 Statement – PC(USA), pp. 479-486 A Call to Presbyterian Involvement in Support of Public Education
- “Protect the integrity of individual conscience by affirming the ability of women and men to make good moral decisions in matters of reproductive health, including decisions about infertility, parenthood, and responses to problem pregnancies.” On Providing Just Access to Reproductive Health Care. 2012. 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
- Prioritize “increasing voter protection, equity and fairness in elections, and establishing the affirmative right to vote”. “Lift Every Voice: Democracy, Voting Rights and Electoral Reform.” 2018th General Assembly, 2008.
- Protect the full rights of LGBT persons, particularly transgender siblings in Christ. On Affirming and Celebrating the Full Dignity and Humanity of People of All Gender Identities— 223rd General Assembly (2018)
- Protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the right of all Americans to universal health care. Have a working knowledge of the damage that medical expenses extort on everyday Americans and the dignity afforded by access to quality health care. The PC(USA) has a long history of advocacy for universal coverage.
- Speak in defense of the rights and protections of immigrants who add so much more than they expend in American society. To speak out against the blatant racism and xenophobia demonstrated in the administration’s travel bans and utterances by the chief executive which has enabled white supremacists to be emboldened.
It is our prayer that the wisdom of our elected officials will result in the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice who can uphold these values and more and can influence the court to make decisions that bring us closer to the kingdom of God.