A shortage of judges in the Newark area is forcing matrimonial and civil court trials to be delayed.

Gov. Chris Christie blamed Democrats for the shortage on Thursday, saying he won't nominate judges until the Legislature agrees to consider the nomination of his acting education commissioner.

Sen. Ron Rice of Essex County, who is blocking Cabinet nominee Chris Cerf until he appears before Rice's schools committee, says he agreed a year ago to sign off on six Superior Court judges.

Sen. Dick Codey, also of Essex, says the six can't be voted on if they haven't been nominated.

At an event in Teaneck, Christie said he wants a blanket agreement on Cerf and the Essex judges.

There are 11 judicial vacancies in the county out of 44 positions.

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