By David Madden
TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – Voting along party lines, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected one of Governor Chris Christie’s nominees to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court. Another has seen his nomination vote delayed.
Phillip Kwon would have been the first Asian-American to serve on the high court (see related story). But, Democrats had questions about his political affiliation. He’s a onetime Republican, now registered independent and there are concerns about his involvement in his family’s liquor business in New York.
At the end, members of the Judiciary Committee were pointing fingers at each other. And, some suggested this vote could change confirmation standards going forward.
“Threats and intimidation are no way to do business and revenge is not a position that senators should be advocating,” said committee chairman Nicholas Scutari.
Governor Christie said Kwon was treated “like a punching bag” during a six hour hearing, “To see what Phil went through is not only disappointing for me personally, but frankly a disappointment for the state, the process and the judicial system.”
Christie asked that another nominee, attorney Bruce Harris, be considered on another day. Harris, an African-American, would be the first openly gay member of the high court if he’s confirmed.