Following the Senate’s rejection in March of Gov. Christie’s last two nominees to the N. J. Supreme Court, the Star-Ledger reported Senate President Steve Sweeney said in a statement, Democrats would stand their ground until Christie offered a candidate that preserved the political balance of the court. His message: Send us a Democrat. Currently the court has two Republicans: Justices Helen Hoens and Anne Patterson, two Democrats: Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and Justice Barry Albin, and one Independent (often viewed as a Republican): Justice Jaynee Lavecchia.
Now in what Christie bills as a “compromise,” he has nominated one Republican, David Bauman, and another individual, Robert Hanna, who Christie labels an Independent.
As John Schoonejongen, Statehouse Bureau points out,“Hanna has a long association with Christie in both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and in his administration. Christie said he is the only Republican candidate to whom Hanna has contributed money.” Hanna served in the Christie administration for two years as Director of the Division of Law and Assistant Attorney General before the Governor nominated him to be President of the Board of Public Utilities. The two individuals even worked together authoring an article defending the controversial practice of deferred prosecution.
With Christie’s two new nominees, our Supreme Court would have seven members but only two Democrats – hardly balanced, nor appropriate for a blue state or a blue legislature. Appointing Hanna is no compromise. Governor Christie, nominate a Democrat.