Republican Lawmaker Introduces Resolution Speed Hearings Of NJ Supreme Court Nominees

State Sen. Kevin O'Toole

State Sen. Kevin O’Toole

TRENTON — Republican state Senator Kevin O’Toole has introduced a state Senate Resolution that would end indefinite delays by New Jersey Senate Democrats on Gov. Chris Christie’s Supreme Court nominees.

“The Senate Democrats have gone to unprecedented lengths to deny the people of New Jersey a full, diverse and balanced Supreme Court, as the High Court weighs some of the most important cases in our state’s history,” O’Toole said. “Democrats around the country have celebrated a U.S. Senate move to eliminate filibustering on certain nominees by America’s Chief Executive, and now the state Senate should be able to end the blockage of Supreme Court nominations by New Jersey’s Chief Executive.”

Recently, the U.S. Senate voted to eliminate the use of the filibuster against most presidential nominees, including picks for the federal judiciary. O’Toole’s Resolution would require that all gubernatorial nominees to the New Jersey Supreme Court receive hearings no later then 90 days from when nominated.

“Voters elected Gov. Christie because they agree with his vision for New Jersey and that begins by having a State Supreme Court that interprets the law, rather than initiating new ways to spend billions of the people’s tax dollars,” O’Toole noted. “Senate Democrats tried to ride it out until Gov. Christie’s term expired, but the voters again made it known by overwhelmingly re-electing this governor, that they want his nominees confirmed immediately.”

O’Toole highlighted the delays for Supreme Court hearings under Gov. Christie:

  • David F. Bauman, nominated Dec. 10, 2012; 372 days later – No hearing scheduled;
  • Robert M. Hanna, nominated Dec. 10, 2012; 372 days later – No hearing scheduled;
  • Anne Patterson, nominated May 6, 2010; 392 days until hearing.

“This Senate just showed how easy it is to approve one of Gov. Christie’s qualified nominees, Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina, two months after his nomination date,” O’Toole added. “No other time than since Gov. Christie was elected in 2009 has the state Senate delayed its duty to give Supreme Court nominees a hearing. Ninety days is more than enough time for us to do our jobs.”

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