Codey Calls On Rivera-Soto To Resign

Justice’s Unwillingness to Work Or Seek Renomination Is Ample Need for Resignation

WEST ORANGE – Senator Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) has sent a letter to New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto calling for the Justice to resign his seat on the court immediately. Rivera-Soto last month declared he would refuse to take part in any further court rulings. Additionally, this week he announced that he would not seek renomination to the court when his term expires later this year. His unwillingness to work or to seek renomination is more than sufficient proof that he should no longer reside on the court said Codey.

Senator Codey’s letter is below.

January 4, 2011

Roberto Rivera-Soto

Justice, New Jersey State Supreme Court

State of New Jersey

P.O. Box 970

Trenton, NJ 08625-0970

Dear Justice Rivera-Soto,

Recently you informed the governor that you do not wish to be considered for renomination to the New Jersey State Supreme Court when your term expires this year. Additionally, you informed the public last month that you will no longer participate in any rulings on the court. These two facts make it clear that you are not fit to sit on the court any longer. Therefore, I request that you resign your position as Justice immediately.

By remaining on the court, you will only seek to cause further chaos and impede the judicial system during a critical juncture. There will be many cases before the court this coming year and they require the full attention and due diligence you have made clear you no longer intend to give. Your continued presence in what you have made the state’s most luxurious and highest profile no-show job simply does nothing to serve the best interests of the public.

Senate President Sweeney has already indicated that he would consider Anne Patterson to replace you once your term is over. Hopefully, Governor Christie can be reasoned with and allow her name to be put forward so she can be given consideration. This will prevent, largely because of your actions, two members of the court being there without having received the consent of the Senate. Ironically, your insistence on keeping your seat until the very end and the Governor’s pronouncement that he will not then try to fill it, will only result in the very thing that has caused you to stop doing any work to begin with: another justice appointed without the consent of the Senate.

As each day goes by, your actions create more and more problems for the people of New Jersey and the justice system. I ask you to do the honorable thing now and resign your seat so that we can continue with the business of the courts in the dignified manner which you have failed to uphold.

Sincerely,

Richard J. Codey

Senator, District 27