Christie: Mind made up on Supreme Court nominees

Gov. Chris Christie said today he has made up his mind on two Supreme Court nominees and plans to announce the names soon.

The governor said he will announce the names of the nominees for both open seats together.

Asked whether the nominees were the result of an agreement with Senate President Steve Sweeney, who controls the advice and consent of the nominees, Christie said he wouldn’t go that far.

“I wouldn’t want to say that,” he said. “Certainly he’s been fully informed of the direction I’d like to move.  He knows we’ve been working together so that he is fully informed of the people I’ve been considering.”

The governor’s first nominee, Anne Patterson, was sworn in in September, replacing Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto.  The seat vacated by Justice John Wallace when Christie refused to re-nominate the court’s only black justice remains vacant as does another seat left open with the retirement of Justice Virginia Long.  

Two nominees for the vacant spots were shot down by the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year, leading Christie to accuse the Democrats of playing politics with the court.  Democrats have countered that the governor is hoping to secure a court that will rule in line with his beliefs.  

"Sit down and shut up!"
—Gov. Chris Christie, to a Hurricane Sandy heckler