The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: (202) 466-3234,Joe Conn,Rob Boston,Sandhya Bathija

Supreme Court Nominee Should Be Closely Questioned on Church-State Views, Says Americans United


The Senate Judiciary Committee should thoroughly question Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to determine her views on church-state separation, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

President Barack Obama today announced the nomination of Sotomayor, currently a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to the high court. It appears that Sotomayor has not written widely on church-state issues, meaning the committee has an obligation to ascertain her views.

"We hope Judge Sotomayor turns out to be in the mold of retiring Justice David H. Souter - a strong champion of separation of church and state," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "The American people deserve no less."

Research by Americans United has turned up only a few cases by Sotomayor that touch on the separation of church and state. Lynn said AU's research on the nominee is ongoing and will include examination of other public statements beyond court rulings.

"Americans United looks forward to working with the Judiciary Committee to draft a series of questions for Judge Sotomayor," said Lynn. "We hope the coming weeks shed more light on her views on important religious liberty issues."

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.