Former NJ AG John Farmer on RutRow: What’s at Stake is the Vision of NJ Itself

Rowan-Rutgers merger puts local political interests ahead of the state

The title is quite mild compared to the whole opinion piece.

AG Farmer’s Key Quote:

“What’s at stake is nothing less than the vision of New Jersey as a state that underlay both the designation of Rutgers as the state university and the 1947 constitution itself.

No less than the creation of a strong governor and attorney general and a centralized and independent judiciary, the designation of Rutgers as the state university of New Jersey was intended to create an institution powerful enough to counter the centrifugal forces of local and regional interests that, for most of New Jersey’s history, had frustrated every effort to achieve greatness as a state. The governor, the attorney general and the judiciary were to provide the power; Rutgers was to assist in providing the vision.

For decades, this strategy seemed to work. A succession of great governors from both parties was able to advance New Jersey’s interest as a state, often overcoming the opposition of local and regional bosses that might well have stymied similar efforts under prior versions of the constitution, under which the Legislature was supreme. “

Former AG Farmer is a Republican who served under Governors Whitman and DiFrancisco and clerked for NJ Supreme Court Justice Alan Handler.

Farmer also served as General Counsel of the 9/11 Commission under former Governor Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton.

While Farmer is currently Dean of the Rutgers Law School in Newark, his undergrad and law degrees are from Georgetown.

AG Farmer’s take on the RutRow debacle is very wise, too few people have taken a historic perspective in this debate.  

Comments (2)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    I know he took some heat here because of his tiebreaking vote on the congressional redistricting commission, but I’ve always believe him to be a fair and independent voice.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *