New Jersey Democrats have rejected Chris Christie's nomination of out gay Black Supreme Court nominee Bruce Harris by a vote of 7-6 following a four hour hearing, the AP reports:
It is a mystery why the New Jersey Bar Association rated Harris as qualified. The governor said he would have agreed to waive confidentiality and allow the bar to testify, but he didn’t ask for that, which suggests he had little confidence the bar could have built a strong case.
Harris’ decision to recuse himself from the gay marriage case that is headed to the Supreme Court also is troubling. His concern, he said, was that his personal endorsement of gay marriage would undermine public confidence in the court if he were to rule on the case.
But as an attorney, Thurgood Marshall argued many cases on segregation, and as a Supreme Court justice, he voted on many more.
And Harris may have had an ulterior motive — to mollify conservative Republicans who were rallying against him based on his views on gay marriage. If so, that would compromise the court’s political independence.
The political backdrop to this is crucial, as well. Democrats believe Christie aims to end the traditional partisan balance on the court, so Harris faced a steep uphill climb. The governor made it easy for them by nominating a man with such weak credentials.
Watch Christie react with anger to the rejection, AFTER THE JUMP...