The response ends by noting that the moral message of religion does not exist independently from its ritual component. While the Reform movement has taken license to change ritual where needed, since halachically valid sukkot are readily available, there is no compelling reason to do so in this case. Another responsa on the issue of what constitutes a kosher Reform mikveh echoes the same theme – absent pressing need, the legal critieria of the Talmud are binding; one cannot fulfill the spirit of the law but ignore its formal requirements:
Though not everyone will wish to purchase or erect a sukkah, there are those (families with young children, for example) who would find it enjoyable to eat festive meals in their camping tents… Would it not meet the intent, the essential purpose of the observance, by calling to mind the miracles which God did for us when we came out of Egypt? Indeed, given that the rabbinic tradition is divided over whether God actually caused our ancestors to "dwell in booths" in the desert, do we really need to construct huts in accordance with a long list of concrete halakhic specifications in order to remember the wilderness experience?
The question challenges us to consider the meaning of ritual observance in Reform Judaism. Is ritual, in and of itself, ever a "necessity" for us? Does a traditional practice possess any obligatory force above and beyond the moral or religious meaning it conveys? Put in this way, we believe the answer to the question is "yes". And that means that the answer to the present she'elah is "no": it does not fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah to eat outdoors, or in a tent, or in some other non-traditional manner.
The second reason is based upon our attitude toward Jewish tradition as stated above: we do not make changes merely for the sake of making changes. The forms of Jewish ritual practice are often as significant to our religious experience as is the abstract "meaning" which those practices are said to convey. Yes, it is difficult and troublesome to arrange for a proper mikveh. For that matter, it is difficult and troublesome to arrange to have a proper Torah scroll. Yet we do not use a photocopied sefer torah in our worship services. This Committee has spoken out against the substitution of a "non-traditional" sukkah (a tent, a hut, etc.) for the "real thing."
I still have a hunch that the average Orthodox layperson is far more concerned with formalism than the average Reform layperson, but I may be simply ignorant of the facts – it could be that Reform Jews do ask their Rabbis questions like whether their esrog is kosher or how much food a sick person may consume on a fast day. I am a bit baffled by the Reform approach to halacha, but again, it could be because I approach it as an outsider; it would strike any Orthodox Jew as anomolous to sanction eating a non-kosher meal, but insist that a festive holiday meal take place in a sukkah that conforms with precise halachic detail. It would be interesting to investigate this one further, but I need to get back to the day job.