Christie: High court nominee Harris to have hearing this month

FREEHOLD – Gov. Chris Christie said Supreme Court Justice nominee Bruce Harris is perfectly qualified to serve on the state’s highest court, citing his many years of experience as an attorney, an elected official and as a businessman.

“This is a guy who is incredibly accomplished,” he said, adding that Harris has a lot of real-life experience.

The Senate Judiciary rejected high court nominee Phil Kwon earlier this year. 

The governor said there will be a committee hearing on Harris’ nomination sometime this month.

He said he doesn’t have any problem with having a nominee who doesn’t have any experience as a judge, adding that practicing law is sufficient.  

“It’s perfectly fine training to become a Supreme Court justice,” Christie said at a town hall here.

Nominating only sitting judges to the highest court also can be problematic, because some have a penchant for making laws instead of interpreting existing laws, Christie said.

He said that what the discussion on Supreme Court justices is really about is that the state Democrats “don’t want to honor the election results.”

“I won,” he said to thunderous applause.

He said similar politics is what blocked Kwon from becoming a justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee shot down the nomination in late March by a 7-6 vote.

At the time, Democrats on the committee cited two reasons: Kwon’s political affiliation, they said, was Republican and not independent, and they raised issues related to financial deposits regarding his mother’s business. 

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton