So what does the NJ crew think about this?
Will they help us or will they continue hurting us??
Your thoughts guys???
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie today nominated an openly gay African-American Republican mayor and a Korean-American assistant attorney general to the state’s highest court.
Two nominees are Phil Kwon, 44, who worked under Christie when he was U.S. attorney for New Jersey, and Bruce Harris, 61, who was elected mayor of Chatham Borough in November.
You can't trust any of them, this IS NJ.
OK, read on.
Chris Christie speaks at the Statehouse Monday to nominate Phillip Kwon, far left, and Bruce Harris, right, to the state Supreme Court. Looking on is Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
The politically correct reaction to Gov. Chris Christie’s two nominations to the state Supreme Court is to praise him for selecting an openly gay black man and an Asian.
So let’s get that over with: The diversity is most welcome. This state is a beautiful mosaic and its courts should be, too.
But be careful. Because people said the same thing when Clarence Thomas was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, that we should skip past his thin résumé and embrace the glory of diversity.
That turned out to be a mistake of historic proportions. Thomas sits glum and mute during arguments, then embraces bizarre views that even his conservative cabal on the court can’t stomach, such as his belief that states have a right to establish an official religion.
The lesson: Bad things happen when you pick judges for purely political reasons.
And that seems to be exactly what Christie has done. Because when you take a sober look at the qualification of his nominees, one thing jumps out at you — they are not superstar lawyers, not even close.
The openly gay African-American is Bruce Harris, recently elected as mayor of Chatham Borough. He went to elite schools, graduating from Yale Law School in 1992, so there’s no doubt he’s a smart guy.
But he is a transactional lawyer, the type who works on business deals such as mergers and acquisitions. He doesn’t argue cases in court. He has no judicial experience. And he was not made partner at either of the two law firms where he has worked.
The Rev. Reginald Jackson, head of the Black Ministers’ Council of New Jersey, wants to see minority faces on the bench as much as anyone. But here’s what he says about these nominees:
“The governor chose political opportunity above placing the best persons to be on the court. When they come before the judiciary committee, senators have to give them a tough grilling, since apparently the governor didn’t do it.”
The Asian nominee is Phillip Kwon, a Korean-American known mostly as a Christie loyalist.
Kwon has more heft than Harris. He worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office under Christie, where he handled several corruption cases, including the prosecution of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James. He moved to Trenton with Christie, and has been the first assistant in the Attorney General’s Office since.
But Kwon is just 44 years old, and his experience is almost entirely confined to being a prosecutor. Yes, Peter Verniero was even younger when he was nominated, but he first served as former Gov. Christie Whitman’s chief counsel, chief of staff and attorney general.
So if the governor was not aiming for the best possible lawyers, what was his goal?
That seems pretty clear in the case of Harris. Christie is trying to block gay marriage in New Jersey, and that could hurt him in a state where most people side with the Democrats.
As usual, his political instincts were true. Witness the gushing words from Steve Goldstein, head of Garden State Equality, who praised Christie’s “warmth and responsiveness” as if on cue.
As a bonus, the nomination keeps Democrats off balance. They can’t hit the governor on this without hitting the gay community in the same stroke.
The Kwon move is harder to read. The best guess is that Christie knows he is a hard-core conservative who has left no fingerprints.
This governor, of course, has no love for the judiciary. The bad blood started when he broke tradition by removing Justice John Wallace Jr. for ideological reasons. He later personally attacked Justice Barry Albin for daring to ask how the administration could plead poverty in the school funding cases while reducing taxes at the same time.
In the case over judicial pensions, he accused the courts of being guided by naked self-interest.
So these nominations make perfect sense, in one way. If you regard the judiciary as a nuisance, it follows that you would see these vacancies mainly as a chance to score political points.
President George H.W. Bush gave us Clarence Thomas, and the country is still paying a price.
Democrats need to be sure that Christie doesn’t pull the same stunt in New Jersey.
What a joke. As always we are once again doomed here in NJ!!!