Christie accuses Sweeney of ‘cowardice’ by not holding hearings for Supreme Court nominees

SEASIDE HEIGHTS – Senate President Steve Sweeney is engaging in an act of “cowardice” and is “abrogating” his responsibilities by not having the Judiciary Committee hold a hearing on his two state Supreme Court nominees, Gov. Chris Christie said. 

He said at a press conference here that it is disrespectful to the nominees to not hold a hearing where the members could engage in an “up or down” vote. Christie said it is time that he “needs to start doing his job”  and do what the Constitution requires him to do.

“Steve Sweeney should know how this should work and this is cowardice,” he said. “It is disrespectful to the role the court plays in this state and is disrespectful to the authority of the governor” to not give them a fair hearing.

Christie said he’s already compromised by not nominating solely Republicans to the bench and by adding diversity, and he said that he’s starting to lose his patience.

“To sit and do nothing now is just unacceptable,” the governor said, adding that a hearing could take place “tomorrow” if Sweeney chose to.

Christie nominated Board of Public Utilities head Robert Hanna and Judge David Bauman, who was born in Japan, last year after two earlier nominees – an African-American, Bruce Harris, and a Korean-American, Phil Kwon – were rejected by the Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee.

"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