The largest coalition of churches in the United States has issued a scathing statement calling on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to withdraw before his confirmation.
The National Council of Churches, which entails about 100,000 Christian congregations from several denominations, rarely speaks on political issues but made an exception on Wednesday.
In a statement posted online, the organization said Kavanaugh “must step aside immediately.”
“During his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Kavanaugh exhibited extreme partisan bias and disrespect toward certain members of the committee and thereby demonstrated that he possesses neither the temperament nor the character essential for a member of the highest court in our nation,” the statement read.
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It added that allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against the nominee deserve more investigation.
“We are deeply disturbed by the multiple allegations of sexual assault and call for a full and unhindered investigation of these accusations.”
Jim Winkler, the president of the NCC, told The Washington Post he hopes the organization’s statement resonates with lawmakers.
The NCC is largely comprised of mainline Protestant and Orthodox churches. It does not represent the Catholic church, which has not made a statement on Kavanaugh.
The organization also does not represent evangelical Christians, who have been outspoken in their support of Kavanaugh.
In an interview with Fox News, Texas-based pastor Robert Jeffress said that Democrats are “trying to destroy the very foundation” of the American legal system with allegations against Kavanaugh.
Another Texas-based pastor, Jack Graham, said Kavanaugh was “convincing and credible” during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The NCC isn’t the only notable group that has spoken out against Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.
About 1,700 law professors signed an open letter this week, urging the Senate to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
The letter, which was published in The New York Times on Wednesday, explained that the nominee does not have the “judicial temperament” needed to be a Supreme Court judge.
“Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land,” the letter read.
Kavanaugh himself is a law professor at Harvard Law School, but will not be returning to teach his scheduled class in January.
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