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Christie Announces NJ Supreme Court Deal [AUDIO]

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced a deal with the state senate president that ends a four-and-a-half year stalemate over Supreme Court appointments.

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(David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

Under the agreement, Christie is re-nominating Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, and nominating Republican Superior Court judge Lee Solomon to the High Court.

During a news conference at the Statehouse, the governor said bipartisan cooperation made the deal possible.

“I’ll fight as hard as I can to get as much as I can get, and Steve will fight as hard as he can to get as much as he can get,” he said. “But the difference with us is that eventually we understand we have a greater responsibility and that’s to the people of the state, and that means compromising.”

The governor said he doesn’t always agree with Sweeney, but they both understand that compromise is important to getting anything done, even though they may not always talk about it.

“Only the senate president and I know what we talk about, until we decide we want to let other people know what we’re talking about,” Christie said. “And most of the time I think we come out of the room with an agreement that will benefit the people of New Jersey.”

Christie also said he hears all the time that people want bipartisan cooperation, but then they complain when deals are worked out.

“If you want both parties to work together, then you have to give us both the time and the room to be able to work together,” Christie said.

Christie indicated he’s not worried about the criticism he’s gotten from some conservatives about making the deal, saying “get in line, man, the criticism line is there, get in line and criticize all you like.”

The governor stressed that, while he has expressed disagreements with the court, and individual opinions of the court – something he’ll continue to do – his respect for Rabner has never been diminished.

“I’ve disagreed with him, but never have I thought that he hasn’t run the court in a fair, effective and efficient manner,” Christie said. “He’s never brought bias or partisanship and never have I thought he wasn’t eminently qualified to be the chief justice.”

Both nominations must now be approved by a state senate committee.

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