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Ending Impasse, Gov. Christie Tightens Imprint on NJ Supreme Court

(Judge Stuart Rabner, center, thanks Gov. Christie, left, and state senate president Steve Sweeney, right, for his reappointment nomination.  Image from State of NJ TV)

(Judge Stuart Rabner, center, thanks Gov. Christie, left, and state senate president Steve Sweeney, right, for his reappointment nomination. Image from State of NJ TV)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey governor Chris Christie has renominated state Supreme Court chief justice Stuart Rabner, and has nominated a Camden County judge to fill a vacancy on the high court.

This is a deal cut with state senate president Steve Sweeney to address an impasse on judicial appointments that started with Christie’s decision not to reappoint then-justice John Wallace for tenure.

The deal also calls for the appointment of Camden County Superior Court judge Lee Solomon (below) to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

 

(Camden County judge Lee Solomon, following announcement of his nomination to the NJ Supreme Court.  Image from State of NJ TV)

(Camden County judge Lee Solomon, following announcement of his nomination to the NJ Supreme Court. Image from State of NJ TV)

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The governor believes this will help shape the high court as a panel that interprets law, as opposed to creating it.

“If we see the confirmation of Judge Solomon,” Christie said today, “you’ll see three new justices on the New Jersey Supreme Court that were nominated by me and confirmed by the senate.”

That would leave one vacancy on the seven-member panel.  Given Rabner’s retention — which some didn’t think would happen — this deal should get state senate confirmation.