Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Confirmation Hearings Set for High Court Nominees

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The two Supreme Court nominees who were the subject of a deal between Gov. Chris Christie and New Jersey’s Senate president will get confirmation hearings Monday.

Kuzma, ThinkStock

Sen. Nick Scutari, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told The Associated Press that he is scheduling hearings for Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and Superior Court Judge Lee Solomon.

“I am looking forward to moving the judiciary forward after an extended period of controversy,” Scutari said.

The agreement between the Republican governor and Democratic Senate president paved the way for Rabner to be reconfirmed and Solomon to be confirmed for an initial seven-year term. A seventh seat on the bench will remain vacant, to be filled temporarily by the senior judge on the Appellate Court.

Rabner, 53, was originally nominated by former Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat. If confirmed as expected, he could serve until the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Solomon, 59, is a former head of the state’s Board of Public Utilities and Christie’s pick. He would come up for renomination in 2021.

If both are confirmed, the court would gain a Republican member, shifting the partisan balance to three Republicans, two Democrats and one independent. Sign-off is needed by the Judiciary panel and the full Senate.

Christie and the Democrats have continually feuded over judicial appointments, starting in 2009 when candidate Christie vowed to remake a Supreme Court he saw as too activist. The governor has been particularly critical of high court rulings on school funding and affordable housing that have gone against his positions.

In 2010, he failed to renominate the court’s only African American justice, infuriating Democrats, who, in turn, refused to consider his nominee for a year.

That nominee, corporate lawyer Anne Patterson, was confirmed in 2011. However, Democrats beat back two other Christie picks and stalled action on two others before confirming Republican Superior Court Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina in January. Like Fernandez-Vina, Solomon lives in Camden County.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.