Hispanic Bar of N.J. joins ranks of Latino groups disappointed with gov’s Supreme Court nominations

A nonprofit representing the state’s Hispanic legal community expressed disappointment earlier this week over Gov. Chris Christie’s decision not to nominate a Latino to the state Supreme Court.

The Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey issued a statement earlier this week criticizing the governor for failing to nominate a person for the high court who would better reflect the state’s diversity.

“The HBA-NJ considers it imperative that the leaders of our state appoint individuals that proportionately reflect the residents of New Jersey in order to instill public trust in our government and the justice system,” the association said in a statement.

“As the largest minority population in the state of New Jersey, and the largest growing minority population throughout the United States, Latinos have undeniably made significant contributions to the state,” reads the statement.

The association, which declared it is not currently taking a position on Christie’s two nominees, said the governor’s failure to nominate a Latino candidate has “been perceived by many as dismissive of the Latino community’s growth.”

Christie nominated Board of Public Utilities President Robert Hanna and Judge David Bauman to the state Supreme Court earlier this month.

The Latino Action Network announced shortly after the governor’s nominations that it opposes the governor’s plan to leave the Supreme Court without either an African-American or Latino member.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie