Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Christie's newest Supreme Court nominee will get a hearing, Sweeney says | NJ.com

NJ Senate President Sweeney offers no resistance to latest
Christie nominee, nor complaints about Governor's dismissal
of sitting Supreme Court Justice Hoens

The New Jersey tradition of judges' renomination and confirmation for tenure on good behaviour is dead.  Rather than put up a fight - as he did the first time Republican Gov. Chris Christie dismissed a sitting judge for non-compliance with the Governor's  agenda - Democrat and Senate President Stephen Sweeney has meekly acquiesced in Christie's latest assault on judicial independence.
The Governor has dismissed an experienced and competent conservative vote on the Supreme Court - Helen Hoens - and replaced her with an electorally more appealing (because Cuban American)  sitting trial court judge - Fausto Fernandez, now Camden County Assignment Judge.  He will, Sweeney says, get a prompt, and apparently easy hearing.  Gone are the once customary encomiums for the new nominee.  Practical sense - not brilliance is all that Governor Christie cited to commend Hoens replacement.  Sweeney cited ethnic and partisan balance as good things.   Partisan balance is not a bad thing.  Nor is bipartisanship.   But bipartisan consent to the dismissal of judges who have  proven records of competence is a very bad thing. - GWC

Christie's newest Supreme Court nominee will get a hearing, Sweeney says | NJ.com:
by Salvador Rizzo / The Star Ledger
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie's newest nominee to the state Supreme Court can expect to get a hearing in the state Senate, though no date has been set, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said today.
At a news conference today, Sweeney said he was pleased to see that Christie nominated Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina, a Cuban-born judge from South Jersey, to the state's highest court last week.
The seven-member Supreme Court currently has two vacancies amid a political standoff between Christie and the Democrats. Sweeney, however, indicated that Fernandez-Vina's nomination will not be rolled into that feud.
"We would like to not have another vacancy right now, so we've just got to figure out the timing," Sweeney said of Fernandez-Vina's hearing. "Racial diversity and partisan balance are very important, and I'm glad (Christie) nominated a Latino."
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