jefferson faceOn Friday, a diverse group of religious organizations including the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty signed a letter urging Senate leaders to offer “advice and consent,” as provided in the Constitution, on “whomever is nominated by President Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Here is an excerpt of that letter, which was sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA):

The system of government created by the Constitution’s Framers rests on three fully functioning and co-equal branches. A seat intentionally left vacant for an extended period of time – either through a delayed nomination or delayed consideration – threatens the ability of the government to operate at full capacity, as well as the ability for justice to be served in a timely fashion. Justice delayed is anathema to us as Americans and as people of faith seeking to create a more just nation and world.

While some of our denominations and organizations take positions on individual nominees, others do not. Yet, we are united in our shared commitment to the principle that the President’s and Senate’s constitutional duties regarding judicial vacancies ought to be carried out in a timely fashion. We urge you move expeditiously to hold hearings and vote on whomever is nominated to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

President Obama announced his intention to send a nomination to the Senate “without undue delay.”