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Religious groups make pleas for choice of Supreme Court nominee


(RNS) Gearing up for a showdown over President Bush's nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Jerry Falwell is circulating a petition to nominate an anti-abortion conservative while an interfaith coalition is asking Bush for bipartisan consultation.

In an email dated July 4, Falwell asked his supporters to sign a petition calling on Bush to nominate a "true conservative" who opposes abortion rights and gay marriage.

Falwell said in his letter that he hoped a million people would sign the petition.

Meanwhile, the Washington-based Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism circulated a letter dated July 1 that encouraged Bush to consult with the Senate when making nominations for the next Supreme Court justice.

Twenty-nine religious groups signed the letter.