Editorial: The N.J. shutdown - Bipartisan stalemate over state Supreme Court nominees | NJ.com:
As the federal government shutdown continues thanks to a tea party tantrum, New Jersey is experiencing a judicial impasse.
It began when Gov. Chris Christie broke with decades of precedent and denied tenure to Supreme Court Justice John Wallace. Christie made no bones about his aim – to dismantle what he called “an activist court” following decisions with which he disagrees.***
In the midst of all this, Christie declined to reappoint Justice Helen Hoens to a tenured second term on the bench. The governor explained he was saving her from the “animals” in the Senate he apparently sees as set on devouring any Republican he sends their way.
Losing Hoens diminishes the high court. She has lived, she said, “in the margins and the shadows of society” raising her autistic son. Her experience and her perspective were unique on the bench, but not among those who brought their cases before it.
Gov. Christie and leading Democrats must look beyond the superficialities of party affiliation; they must consider more than satisfying a checklist of litmus tests.