Senator Gerald Cardinale, R-39, refuses to allow the Democrats to get away with couching Thursday’s rejection of state Supreme Court nominee Phillip Kwon as anything but a politically charged sacrifice of a venerable public servant.
“Democrats were ordered by unions and pressured by party leaders to sling hypothetical, irrelevant mud at Mr. Kwon to try to fool people into thinking there was any legitimate reason not to approve the High Court’s first Asian justice,” said Cardinale, ranking Judiciary Committee member. “In reality, the majority party is afraid their special-interest income and agenda would be jeopardized if the High Court were to swing Republican. Their sense of entitlement to control the public’s Supreme Court is a disgrace to elected office.”
Cardinale reiterated that Gov. Christie’s nominees in no way throw off the unwritten balance rule. The Court is presently comprised of three registered Democrats, two registered Republicans and one registered Independent, 12th-year Justice Jaynee LaVecchia.
“Justice LaVecchia’s court opinions also clearly show she’s an Independent and perhaps more aligned with Democrat ideals,” Cardinale added. “Filling a Republican seat doesn’t make you a Republican. Being nominated by a Republican doesn’t make you a Republican. If Gov. Christie nominated a lifelong registered Democrat, would the majority party consider that nominee a Republican?”
Cardinale noted Democrats have controlled the state’s High Court with four justices in 50 of the last 64 years, with many of their nominees approved with votes from Republicans.
“So, now the Democrats are crying about a different political party having a three- or four-justice majority,” Cardinale concluded. “The state Supreme Court under recent Democrat control has acted outside of its public duties by creating or increasing politically driven spending mandates that have burdened our taxpayers. New Jerseyans elected Gov. Christie and this legislature, in part, to approve nominations like Phillip Kwon who will uphold and interpret laws with integrity and responsibility.”