Christie alters course on Supreme Court nominee

Christie alters course on Supreme Court nominee (via NJ.com)

Gov. Chris Christie plans to nominate Robert Hanna as a lower court judge, apparently altering course on the nominee he had championed for the Supreme Court, NJ.com has confirmed. Christie has filed the pre-nomination documents for Hanna, whose nomination…

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Posted: January 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, NJ Courts, NJ Judiciary | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Christie alters course on Supreme Court nominee

Christie Nominates Camden County Assignment Judge To State Supreme Court

Justice Helen E. Hoens. photo via NJ Courts website

Justice Helen E. Hoens. photo via NJ Courts website

Governor Christie announced the nomination of Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina to replace Justice Helen Hoens on the State Supreme Court during a press conference at the State House this afternoon.

Hoens, who was up for reappointment after seven years, will not be re-nominated, Christie said, because State Senator Ray Lesniak, a senior Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently said that Hoens would not be reconfirmed as political retribution for Christie not re-nominating Justice John Wallace in 2010.  Christie said that Hoens took the news as a professional and thanked him for not putting her through an arduous and fruitless re-confirmation hearing.  Hoen’s term expires in late October.

There are currently two vacancies, of seven positions, on the State Supreme Court. Christie nominated Monmouth County Judge David F. Bauman and Board of Public Utilities President Robert Hanna to fill those vacancies in December of last year.  The Democratically controlled State Senate has not acted on their nominations, despite the fact that both men have been previously confirmed by the Senate for their current positions.

If all three of Christie’s current nominees are confirmed, a majority of the Court, 4 Justices, will be Christie appointees. Justice Anne M. Patterson was nominated by Christie in May of 2010. She was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in 19 months later in September of 2011.

Judge Fernandez-Vina, a Cuban-American and a Republican, was first nominated to the Superior Court in Camden County by Governor Jim McGreevey in 2004.  He was re-nominated by Christie an reconfirmed by the Senate in 2011.  In 2012, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, a Corzine appointee, named Fernandez-Vina the Assignment Judge of the Camden County Vicinage.

Posted: August 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, NJ Courts, NJ Judiciary, NJ Supreme Court | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

2013 Predictions

A better late than never “fiscal cliff” deal will get done in Washington.  Federal taxes and spending will both rise.  The federal debt ceiling will rise in the coming months.

Last minute legal maneuvers by “birthers” to prevent Barack Obama’s election by the electoral college will fail.

New Jersey will confront a budget shortfall of almost $1 billion.  Governor Christie will attempt to plug part of the shortfall with the privatization of the lottery.  There will be painful spending cuts during the first six months of the year.

Congress will pass and the president will sign the $60.4 billion Sandy Relief Bill.

The rebuilding of the Jersey Shore communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy will be slowed by FEMA.

Despite New Jersey’s fiscal mess and frustration over the rebuilding process, Governor Christie’s approval ratings will be in the high 50’s throughout the year.  Christie will be reelected, defeating State Senator Barbara Buono.   The Democratic Party will retain control of the State Legislature.

The State Senate will confirm David Baumann as a State Supreme Court Associate Justice.  They will not confirm Robert Hanna.

Joe Oxley will be confirmed as a Superior Court Judge.

There will be surprise retirements in the Monmouth County Vicinage of the Superior Court.

The first Monmouth GOP nominating convention under Chairman John Bennett and his new by-laws will see no challenges to incumbent freeholders, legislators or the sheriff.  There will be Tea Party led primary challenges in the 11th, 13th and 30th Legislative Districts.  The incumbents will all win.

The Monmouth GOP by-laws will be amended at the nominating convention to make the chairman’s term two years.

The Monmouth County Democratic Party will have difficulty recruiting a full slate of legislative and county candidates.

Tom Arnone will be the Director of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders.

What do you think will happen?



Posted: January 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Predictions | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Democratic Senator invokes Vietnam era race riots in opposing Christie’s Supreme Court nominations

State Senator Ronald Rice (D-Newark)  is not satisifed that Governor Christie’s nomination of an Asian American to the State Supreme Court represents the racial diversity of New Jersey.

That the nominee, Judge David F. Bauman, the presiding Judge of the Monmouth County Court’s Civil Division, is a former U.S. Marine like Rice, did not satisfy the senator. “That doesn’t carry the weight a good African American would.  Even in the Marines we had race riots during Vietnam,” said Rice according to PolitickerNJ.

Rice said that diversity in this state should always include African Americans, Latinos, and women.

Senator Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) also said that race would be a factor as he considers Christie’s nominees, Bauman and BPU President Robert Hanna.  Lesniak said that he wants to be highly confident that the nominees would use their independent judgement in interpreting the law and that they “will not be caught looking

Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature, NJ Supreme Court | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Governor Christie nominates two State Supreme Court Justices

Governor Chris Christie announced the nominations of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman and Board of Public Utilities President Robert M. Hanna to be Associate Justices of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Christie said that the nominations represented a political compromise on his part.  The Democratically controlled State Senate, which must confirm the nominees, blocked the governor’s two previous nominees in part over the partisan balance of the Court.   Bauman is a Republican.  Hanna is an Independent voter.

Both men have been previously confirmed by the Senate for the current position.  Christie quoted the accolades that Democrats bestowed upon each nominee during their previous confirmation hearings.

Christie said the Bauman’s nomination is a nod to the Senate’s demand for racial diversity on the Court.  Bauman is an Asian-American who was born in Japan.

Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, NJ Supreme Court | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »