Legislative Black Caucus opposes Christie’s nominations to state Supreme Court

TRENTON – The Legislative Black Caucus expressed its dissatisfaction with Gov. Chris Christie’s most recent nominees to the state’s high court.

Sen. Ronald Rice, (D-28), issued a statement on behalf of the caucus criticizing the governor for not nominating an African American or Latino justice. Rice said the caucus is opposed to the nominations.

“It is unacceptable for the New Jersey Supreme Court, for a decade to come, to exclude one-third of New Jersey’s population by having no African-American and Latino members,” he said. “Our call remains the same as it has been throughout this process: qualified, diverse, and independent justices: a standard that every governor, Republican and Democrat, has met for decades.”

Christie most recently nominated David Bauman and Robert Hanna to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The nominations come after Senate lawmakers rejected his first set of nominees, Bruce Harris and Phil Kwon.

“We need justices who represent all of New Jersey – not just a certain ideology, race, or political party,” Rice said. “We are opposed to these most recent nominees because they do not represent the diversity gains made to the State Supreme Court in the past to reflect African-American and Latino participation.”

Harris, who is black, would have been the first openly gay justice to serve on the court.

Bauman and Hanna are awaiting hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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