Governor Christie on the New Jersey Supreme Court

"[I] did not subscribe to the theory that people once appointed must be reappointed. I know that's the way it's been in the state, but I don't think we set up the constitution with a method where the executive has to reappoint after seven years before tenure attaches just for fun. I think we did it because they want you to make an evaluation and a judgment." – Governor Chris Christie, April, 4, 2010

"I want someone who is extraordinarily bright and I want someone who will interpret laws and the Constitution, not legislate from the bench." (Mary Fuchs, “N.J. gubernatorial candidates address social issues, including medical marijuana, gay marriage,” NJ.com, 10/8/2009)

"The same test will be applied to everybody: If you legislate from the bench, you will not be reappointed. If in fact you're interpreting the constitution and interpreting the statutes, then you have an opportunity to be reappointed," Christie said. (“Supreme Court a top issue in GOP radio debate,” Ocean County Observer, 5/27/2009)

"My problem is that the Supreme Court in this state has seen itself as a superior branch of government, not a coequal branch of government. They are not a superior branch of government. That’s a philosophical point of view, but that’s my point of view." (Mary Fuchs, “N.J. gubernatorial candidates address social issues, including medical marijuana, gay marriage,” NJ.com, 10/8/2009)

"[I] did not subscribe to the theory that people once appointed must be reappointed. I know that's the way it's been in the state, but I don't think we set up the constitution with a method where the executive has to reappoint after seven years before tenure attaches just for fun. I think we did it because they want you to make an evaluation and a judgment." (Adrienne Lu, “Justice's fate puts heat on Christie,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/4/2010)

"I will remake the court and I will remake it in this one simple principle. If you [want to] legislate [then] run for the Legislature, don't put on a black robe and go to the Supreme Court and there won't be any justices that I either reappoint or put on that court that do that."…Not surprisingly, 69 percent of New Jerseyans recently polled support this concept of judicial restraint (defined as "when a judge views his or her role solely as an evaluator of whether a law or lower court ruling is in line with the state constitution"). (Cheryl M. Stanton, “Voters in New Jersey Agree With Christie on State's Supreme Court,” Human Events Online, 11/3/2009)

"The constitution gives us seven years to judge somebody, and my view is that each of those judges get their seven year record to make their case for reappointment." (“A Line In The Ocean Co. Sand,” The Hotline, 5/24/2009)

He said he would evaluate other judges and justices based on their qualifications for the job, and a standard that they would not legislate from the bench. (Star-Ledger Staff, “What Christie Said Highlights from Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie's meeting with The Star-Ledger editorial board yesterday,” The Star-Ledger, 10/6/2009)

In an October, 2009 Star-Ledger editorial board meeting, Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie stated his intention to “change the New Jersey Supreme Court”. Subsequently, in an interview with New York Times reporter David Halbfinger published on October 30, 2009, Christie criticized the state’s highest court for “legislating from the bench” and cited three examples: 1) the Abbott v. Burke school funding parity cases; 2) the Mount Laurel low income housing mandate decisions; and 3) the decision allowing Frank Lautenberg to replace Robert Torricelli in 2002 as the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate. Again, Christie was not specific with regard to whom he might not reappoint to the Court, except to say that “I think that it (the Supreme Court) would be different than it is now.” (Alan Steinberg, “The New Jersey Supreme Court: Christie Has Options,” PolitickerNJ, 4/26/10)

 

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