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Governor Christie: If They Give Bruce Harris A Fair Chance, He Will Be Confirmed

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Published on May 25, 2012

Atlantic City Boardwalk Visit and Press Conference on May 24, 2012 (Transcript Below)

Governor Christie: Governor Christie: Well, listen. As far as my nomination of Mr. Harris, it's interesting that somebody like Nick Scutari, with his educational background, is saying that a guy who graduated magna cum laude from Amherst and Yale Law School, is unqualified for the bench, especially in light of the fact that you had twenty-five lawyers as I read in the newspaper today, at least as far as is reported by the Star-Ledger today, that twenty-five lawyers appointed by the state bar association to review the question of qualifications, purely that question found Bruce Harris to be qualified. Now, why am I sending people to the bar association to be reviewed as to whether they're qualified or not, if then they're going to go to the Senate and Nick Scutari is going to decide they're not qualified. Then why am I bothering sending them to the bar association in the first place to review the questions of qualifications? I think if they give Bruce Harris a fair chance, he'll be confirmed because he's eminently qualified. This is a guy who's been a corporate lawyer for twenty years at two of the best firms in our state, has worked on over $8 billion of complex corporate financing, and somehow they think if the guy hasn't had a trial, he can't be an appellate lawyer. Now I don't want to get too deep into the weeds on this, but they're two totally different things. And in fact what you find let's say at the US Attorney's Office when I was there, I had trial lawyers, and lawyers who handled the appeals. They never—they didn't cross. Bruce Harris has the intellect and the background and the experience to be able to be an outstanding appellate lawyer, and a great appellate justice on our Supreme Court. And if they turn him down, then you'll understand exactly what this is. They don't want to confirm anybody I'll nominate unless it's a Democrat. Well, the fact is we only have two Republicans on the Supreme Court, and tradition says that the Governor, whoever the Governor is, is allowed to have up to four of his party. For 40+ years of the last 50-some, 60+ years of our constitution, there's been four Democrats on the Supreme Court. You never heard them complain about that. But now all of a sudden because a Republican won the governorship there will be four Republicans, now all of a sudden this is some desperate situation where what they're doing is running Phil Kwon's family through the mud in order to disqualify him, and now even though the state bar association, twenty-five of the best lawyers in the state appointed by the bar association, to do one thing: review the qualifications of judicial and prosecutorial candidates, say he's qualified, somehow Nick Scutari gets to decide that they're not. Listen, you know what this is. You and I both know it. This is politics. We couldn't find a Republican I could nominate that they would confirm. They demanded that I nominate two people of minority background, and I did, two extraordinarily-qualified people of minority background and are they about now to turn down both of them? It's politics everybody. It's Washington, DC-style politics being brought to Trenton by scared Democrats, who are scared because the people of New Jersey support my policies. Because the people of New Jersey support me and they are scared to death. They can't deal with that. They've been used to having their own way for eight years, running the whole show, having the governorship and the legislature. Now all of a sudden they have to compromise in divided government. I've done plenty of compromising. It's time for them to do it. Confirm Bruce Harris next week. He deserves it.

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