Promoted by Jason Springer
The other night on Blue Jersey Radio, Jason floated an idea: that Trenton Republicans would use Elena Kagan’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue for speedy consideration of Gov. Chris Christie’s nomination to the New Jersey Supreme Court. To recap, Christie became the first governor to stop a sitting justice from receiving tenure, opting to pick a big campaign donor instead. Democrats in the legislature were so outraged, they’ve decided not even to hold hearings on the nomination.
Now, Jason said the GOP argument would be that if a Democrat in Washington can pick whomever he wants for the court, why can’t Christie? Cue this morning’s Republican press release: “US Republicans Pledge to Give President Obama’s Supreme Court Nomination a Fair Hearing… While New Jersey Democratic Legislators Plan to Block Governor Christie’s Supreme Court Nominee.” It juxtaposes cherry-picked quotes from Mitch McConnell and Steve Sweeney, John Boehner and Joe Cryan… you get the picture.
The Jersey GOP’s argument is irrelevant for so many reasons, it barely deserves addressing. Democrats in Trenton have worked across the aisle with their new Republican governor this year in a way that Republicans in Washington wouldn’t even consider with their new Democratic president last year, let alone this one.
But a single reason stands above all others, and deserves to be stated. What this controversy comes down to is Gov. Christie revoking a precedent carried out by the likes of Governors Brendan Byrne, Tom Kean, Christine Whitman and more. The Democrats are actually playing the part of the conservatives by trying to preserve the bipartisan traditions that have kept the Supreme Court from rampant politicization.
If New Jersey Republicans truly want to do something for bipartisanship in our government, the best thing they can do is to join the Democrats and block Gov. Christie on his partisan powergrab. That would be the way to ensure a modicum of cooperation between the two parties can continue long into the future.