In the News

NJ Chief Justice Pact Doesn't Quell Judicial Autonomy Fears


May 22, 2014

On Wednesday, May 28th, a bipartisan agreement was announced between New Jersey's governor and Senate leader enabling Supreme Court Justice Stuart Rabner's renomination and including a proposed elevation of Camden county Superior Court Assignment Judge Lee Solomon, a Republican, to the Supreme Court.

New Jersey attorneys widely praised the agreement, but during the controversy of whether or not Rabner would secure tenure, concerns were raised by the New Jersey State Bar Association which launched a campaign to promote judicial independence and called for a constitutional amendment that would require that judges be appointed unless they are shown to be unfit.  The American Civil Liberites Union of New Jersey also stated concerns about judges worrying how their decisions may affect their status on the court.

"Anyone who tries to predict the direction of the court may be very surprised, according to Peter Verniero ... . I remember when I went onto the court, I wasn't certain how I would vote on matters until I read the briefs, heard the arguments of counsel and deliberated with my fellow justices ... . I think it's a risky business to try and predict what a court will do or say in a given case."