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Governor Christie: I Am Willing To Be The One Who Reaches A Hand Out In Compromise First

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Published on Dec 10, 2012

Governor Christie Announces His Nominations for NJ Supreme Court
December 10, 2012 - State House (Transcript Below)

Governor Christie: . Let me say this, these two nominees represent a political compromise on my part, a reaching out across the aisle to the Democrats in an attempt to get our Court fully staffed in the way that our Constitution envisions. While, I still believe that there are only two Republicans sitting on the New Jersey Supreme Court right now, Justice Anne Paterson and Justice Helen Hoens, it's continued to be the Democrats position that self-declared Independent, Justice Jaynee Lavecchia, is as well a Republican. While, I still disagree with that position, getting the Court fully staffed is more important than to continue to argue over that issue. And so today, I meet their requirement regarding partisan balance. Judge Bauman is a Republican and will represent the third or fourth Republican on the Court, depending upon the way you count. And Mr. Hanna has been undeclared in his political affiliation from the beginning of his eligibility to vote and remains undeclared today, representing either the first, or second Independent on the Court, depending on how you count. In any regard, the Court's tradition has always been no more than four of any one political party on the Court at one time. Even using the Democrats' way of counting, there will at least be now four Republicans on the Court, two Democrats and one Independent, if you use their way of counting. My way of counting, it's 3-2-2, but regardless, it represents a compromise by this office to try to reach a place where we can get justices confirmed. Secondly, the Democrats in the Senate have said that they want diversity on the Court as well and so do I. So once again now, I've made four nominations now for these two seats and three of them have been diversity candidates, two Asian-Americans and an African-American. And so I hope that with putting forward these candidates, the Senate will put aside politics now. We've waited long enough to fill these vacancies. It's time these nominees, who create both diversity and partisan balance receive the respect they deserve. The Court needs to receive the respect it deserves. And I'm willing to be the one who reaches my hand out in compromise first. I hope that the Democrats in the Senate will stop playing political games and give these folks the hearings that they deserve and a fair up or down vote.

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