By David Madden

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS) – A task force within the New Jersey State Bar Association will hold a public meeting this week to examine the issue of what the organization calls “judicial independence” and how best to preserve it.

Bar Association President Ralph Lamparello insists the effort is not partisan, but he’s clearly concerned with how Republican Governor Chris Christie has handled judicial appointments:

“The Governor has clearly stated time and time again that he believes the judiciary, and particularly the Supreme Court, legislates from the bench. He is entitled to his opinion. But what he’s not entitled to do is to break free of what has been an independent judicial branch of government.”

Two sitting Supreme Court justices were not reappointed by Christie, and no one is talking about the future of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, whose term expires in June.

The association expects the task force to issue recommendations within six months on how to change state law.

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