HOUSTON – The largest branch of North American Judaism voted on Sunday to oppose Samuel Alito's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
More than 2,000 delegates of the Union for Reform Judaism adopted a resolution saying Alito would "shift the ideological balance of the Supreme Court on matters of core concern to the reform movement" on abortion rights, women's rights, civil rights and the scope of federal power.
The vote came at the closing session of the group's biennial convention, which was held in Houston Wednesday through Sunday.
During a debate before the vote, Jeff Wasserstein, a former law clerk for Alito and a self-described liberal Democrat, argued in favor of Alito's nomination, while Elliot Mincberg, vice president of People for the American Way, argued against it.
The Union for Reform Judaism represents about 900 synagogues in North America with an estimated membership of 1.5 million. Of the three major streams of U.S. Judaism — Orthodox and Conservative are the others — it is the only one that sanctions gay ordination and supports civil marriage for same-gender couples.
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans confirmation hearings on Alito's nomination in January.