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Lambda Legal Concerned Chris Christie May Retaliate Against Pro-Equality Supreme Court Justice: VIDEO


Lambda Legal has launched a campaign with citizens groups and unions over concern Chris Christie will play politics with the New Jersey Supreme Court and refuse to reappoint Chief Justice Rabner.

Writes Lambda in a press release: Rabner

In 2010, Gov. Christie became the first New Jersey governor since the ratification of the New Jersey constitution in 1947 to not reappoint a sitting Supreme Court justice. Many reacted with shock when he chose to end the service of Justice John Wallace, a respected jurist and the New Jersey Supreme Court's only African-American justice. In 2012, the governor declined to reappoint another sitting Supreme Court member, Justice Helen Hoens. There are currently two vacancies on the seven-member Court; if Justice Rabner is not reappointed, the state's highest court will have three vacancies and only four justices.

Lambda Legal and other advocates for fair courts are concerned that Gov. Christie will once again play politics with the Court, this time regarding the reappointment of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, author of an October 2013 decision in Garden State Equality v. Dow that was instrumental in providing the freedom for same-sex couples to marry in the state. Gov. Christie roundly criticized the ruling.

The campaign to protect the courts includes a video, online petition and other activities to engage residents of New Jersey to speak out about protecting the courts from improper political influence. Organizations joining Lambda Legal in the petition effort include: CWA New Jersey, New Jersey Citizen Action, Latino Action Network, and Blue Jersey.

Watch the group's video on the campaign, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Chris Christie retaliate? How is that possible?

    Posted by: Mitch | May 6, 2014 9:25:42 AM

  2. Retaliate? Seriously? Governors make their own decisions all the time about personnel that have nothing to do with "retaliation", but rather with appointing people that share their views.

    I seriously doubt that Christie would "retaliate" against a Justice simply because he wrote an opinion in favor of same-sex marriage. In fact, I am quite sure Christie welcomed the decision because it got him off the hook on that issue with the religious element in his party.

    Your headline is nothing but manufactured partisan baloney.

    Posted by: Rick | May 6, 2014 9:32:38 AM

  3. Very timely article and accurate title. Informs us of what's happened with judges and Christie to date and what may happen given his past in not reappointing judges which is unprecedented for NJ. Thanks.

    Posted by: Tim | May 6, 2014 10:37:09 AM

  4. does the NJ Constitution require that appointments or reappointments must be approved by the legislative body like the U.S.?

    or does he have carte blanche in this with no approval?

    Posted by: mike/ | May 6, 2014 10:58:03 AM

  5. The court system in NJ is mostly a revolving door of patronage, so a lot of reform is needed. There's a weird system of re-appointment that acts somewhat like tenure. It wasn't ever tested until Christie wanted to throw his weight around, but since he doesn't control either house of the legislature it ended up as a 0-0 tie.

    Posted by: anon | May 6, 2014 11:26:17 AM

  6. Yes in NJ the justices are appointed by the govornor and confirmed withe the advice and consent of the state Senate.

    Posted by: Dave | May 6, 2014 11:26:45 AM

  7. Even though he's not normally under any legal obligation to reappoint any judge, it might be judicial interference, given the circumstances.

    Posted by: Gay Guy | May 6, 2014 10:11:09 PM

  8. Even though he's not normally under any legal obligation to reappoint any judge, it might be judicial interference, given the circumstances.

    Posted by: Gay Guy | May 6, 2014 10:11:12 PM

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