Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christie pulls plug on Supreme Court nominee |

The November election left New Jersey politics unchanged, except for the passage of time.  Chris Christie's win brought no change in the Legislature which is dominated by Democrats.  Christie, who vowed to remake the Supreme Court, remains powerless to force hearings on his nominees for two vacancies on the high court.  Democrat and Chief Justice Stuart Rabner's term expires in the late spring.  Christie can remove his former colleague at the U.S. Attorney's office by not renominating him.  No Governor in the modern era has refused to nominate for tenure a sitting Chief Justice.  Nor had any sitting justice been refused nomination for tenure: but Christie has now done that twice.  There is plenty of room for horse trading here.  And Stephen Sweeney - a Gubernatorial aspirant - may trade the Chief for another Democrat as Associate Justice. - GWC

Christie pulls plug on Supreme Court nominee amid squabble with Democrats |

Gov. Chris Christie plans to nominate Robert Hanna as a Superior Court judge, apparently altering course on the nominee he had championed for the Supreme Court, has confirmed.
In an email to the secretary of the Senate dated January 2, Christie said he was giving public notice as required by law that he planned to nominate Hanna to the Superior Court. Christie must file the notice of intent seven days before nominating Hanna. Hanna's nomination to the Supreme Court expires on Jan. 14.
Hanna had languished amid a battle between legislative Democrats and the governor over judicial appointments. Democrats have made it clear that Hanna, former president of the Board of public Utilities, and Judge David Bauman, who was nominated alongside Hanna are unlikely to get a hearing.

Christie has railed against Democrats for their failure to give the two men a hearing, but Senate President Steve Sweeney and other Democrats have said the governor is attempting to stack the court with Republicans.

To date, two of the governor's high court nominees, Anne Patterson and Fausto Fernandez-Vina, have been elevated to the Supreme Court, while two, Phill Kwon and Bruce Harris were shot down by the Senate Judiciary committee. Hanna and Bauman have remained in limbo.
Two vacancies remain to be filled on the court.

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