Democrats in the New Jersey State Senate are upping the ante in their unprecedented exercise of legislative power over judicial appointments.
In the wake of their rejection of Phillip Kwon’s nomination to the State Supreme Court, the Democrats are now demanding that Governor Chris Christie nominate a Democrat to the Court.
“The governor may be entitled to his own nominees for cabinet posts, but we will not allow him to pack the Supreme Court,” Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said. “The governor must work with us to put together a balanced tandem of candidates for the court. The Senate will not consider anything less.”
NJ.com reports that Sweeney’s spokesman Derek Roseman said that Sweeney was telling Christie to nominate a Democrat.
During his press conference following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s rejection of Kwon, Christie revealed that he had complied with Sweeney’s demand of diversity in his appointment of Kwon, the first Korean-American ever nominated, and Bruce Harris, an Africa-American who is the first openly homosexual nominee.
Reshaping the Supreme Court into a less activist body that does not legislate from the bench was a hallmark promise of Christie’s gubernatorial campaign. During his first two years in office, Christie has been openly critical of the Court and unabashed about his commitment to change it.