Governor Christie Pushes To Change NJ Court System [AUDIO]
Governor Chris Christie is fighting with the legislature and Senate Democrats' in particular over changing the court system in New Jersey.
During a recent town hall in Bergen County, the governor was asked a question about family court and how judges make their determination in deciding who gets custody of a child in certain cases. The Monmouth County woman said she felt the judge was unfairly giving her husband more rights.
"This is an issue that I've been arguing about with the legislature and mainly Senate Democrats in many areas....one because they refuse to seat qualified nominees to the state Supreme Court, like Phil Kwon who is from right here in Bergen County and they don't hold hearings for state Superior Court vacancies" said Christie.
The governor pushed residents in the crowd to get more engaged in the process because he said a majority of New Jerseyans don't care about judges or the court system unless it directly affects them.
"We need to care more about who is put on the bench because they make decisions that affect peoples' lives...whether its how they rule in a criminal case where they either send someone to jail or set them free, its how they rule in these family court cases, whether its in a divorce situation or an adoption."
Christie said judges are given too much authority in making decisions that the legislature should make.
"The legislature makes the laws, judges are there to interpret the laws, not make them. Right now, there are a set of judges suing me and the legislature over paying their fair share for their pension and health benefits costs...and its gone to the state Supreme Court..and the very judges who are going to benefit from the decision are making the decision...its pretty clear that we need to change the system here."
As a result, the governor said he will be much more selective about what judges he renominates in the future.
"It had been like an automatic rubber-stamp, automatic for some of these judges...and I'm not doing it anymore and you will see me do it less in the coming weeks and it's because I'm at my wits end about how to change this bench in the state."