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Supreme Court Nominees: Still No Hearings Planned [AUDIO]

Governor Chris Christie made his next two nominations for the state Supreme Court more than three months ago, but there is still no known plan from the legislature for confirmation hearings.

Governor Christie
During a visit to The Arc of Middlesex County, Governor Chris Christie blamed Senate President Steve Sweeney for a delay in confirmation hearings on his Supreme Court nominees. (Tim Larsen/Governor’s Office)

The Governor has been blaming the delay, time after time, on Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Sweeney recently told PolitickerNJ that it’s improper for Governor Christie to attempt “stacking the court,” responding to a comment made by Christie at a town hall in Montville. The Governor told the crowd he ran on a platform “of vowing to change the makeup of the state’s high court.”

“I am certainly unapologetic about my goal to change the Supreme Court,” said Christie on Monday, responding to what he calls Sweeney’s “latest excuse” to delay the confirmation hearings. “Every governor who comes in either wants to reinforce what the court’s doing or change it, depending on your own philosophical approach.”

“They can vote up or down once they have a hearing; they’ve shown that,” Christie added.

Supreme Court nominees - David Bauman and Bob Hanna
Governor Chris Christie announces his selection of Robert Hanna, President of the Board of Public Utilities, and Judge David Bauman of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County, for nomination to the positions of Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

Last year, a Senate panel rejected Christie’s previous two nominees, Phil Kwon and Bruce Harris. In December, the Governor unveiled the current nominees – Superior Court Judge David Bauman, a Republican and Board of Public Utilities President Robert Hanna, an Independent. Christie saw his picks as a compromise; he originally planned to only nominate Republicans to the high court.

Christie said Sweeney is avoiding his job by delaying the hearings, playing politics and “hide the ball.”

“That’s a child’s playground game, not what we should be doing when dealing with the highest court in the state,” said Christie.

The Governor added that he not only criticizes Sweeney in public; he told him privately that he’s being irresponsible.

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