As a Secular American, I believe strongly in protecting the secular heritage of our democracy. Our Constitution makes clear that religion has no place in government, and that the government’s power derives from the people it serves, not a deity.
In Justice John Paul Stevens, we had a voice on the Supreme Court worthy of the founders; a voice that stood against the unconstitutional encroachment of religion into government, and a voice that explicitly took into account non-theistic Americans in his decisions.
John Paul Stevens was not just any justice. John Paul Stevens is a Justice for the ages. He stood for the timeless secular character of our constitutional heritage. Mr. President, you have a momentous and historic responsibility that goes far beyond any one time or particular political climate. Please be sure that your nominee to replace Justice Stevens follows his truly great example. Particularly when certain justices espouse theocratic philosophies, it is essential that your next Supreme Court nominee emulates the Stevens legacy of denying special rights for religion, upholding the separation of church and state, and acknowledging the tens of millions of Secular Americans who always lose when religion is privileged.
Justice Stevens is easily one of our greatest living Americans -- a Justice who has consistently stood up for what is right. Please ensure that his replacement stands for the separation of church and state with a passion and brilliance worthy of John Paul Stevens.