Report: Christie to nominate justice to N.J. SC this month

Jessica M. Karmasek Jul. 6, 2012, 8:45am


TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he will nominate a justice to the state Supreme Court sometime this month, according to a report.

Christie, who has been critical of the Court, told an Atlantic City radio station this week that he was close to a decision on a nominee, according to The Associated Press.

Christie's past nominees haven't fared well in New Jersey's Senate Judiciary Committee.

In May, the judiciary committee rejected the governor's nomination of Chatham Mayor Bruce Harris.

The committee, which is controlled by Democrats, voted 7-6 against Harris. It wants Christie, a Republican, to nominate at least one Democrat to the state's high court.

Harris, a finance attorney of 20 years, would have been the third African-American and first openly gay member of the Court.

He wasn't the first of Christie's nominees to be shot down.

In March, the judiciary committee voted 7-6 against Christie's other nominee, Assistant Attorney General Philip Kwon.

The committee had issues with the fact that neither Kwon nor Harris had ever worked as a judge before.

Christie has said the stalemate over Court nominations boils down to party politics.

"I think these are folks who are just looking for excuse to vote against a Republican on the Supreme Court," the governor said in May, following the vote on Harris' nomination.

There are currently two vacancies on the seven-member Court.

Justice Virginia Long is legally required to retire from the Court. She turned 70 years old this year.

In addition, Christie decided not to renominate Justice John Wallace.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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