TRENTON – Senator Paul A. Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic, and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today regarding Governor Corzine’s announcement that he will reappoint Justice Barry Albin to the New Jersey Supreme Court:
“Justice Albin has proven to be a fair jurist with incredible integrity throughout his first term. I welcome his re-nomination to the State Supreme Court, and will post it for a vote before the Judiciary Committee some time in June.
“I will give my colleagues ample time to discuss with Justice Albin the pertinent information to his re-nomination to the Supreme Court. But I will not allow for the politicizing of this appointment, because, frankly, I believe that Justice Albin, and the people of New Jersey, deserve better.
“Our judicial system is designed in such a way to insulate judges from politics. For this very reason, judges are appointed, as opposed to elected, and their nomination is reviewed based on the merit of the person, not the weight of their politics.
“I personally believe that Justice Albin, in his first term on the Supreme Court, has shown the sound legal judgment and professional manner that befits a New Jersey Supreme Court Justice, and that his record warrants another term on the State’s highest court. A minority of my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may disagree, and that’s within their right and duty of advising and consenting on all gubernatorial nominations. But if one of the members of my panel thinks for a second that they’re going to get away with dragging this nomination through the political muck in an effort to win partisan advantage, they are grossly mistaken.
“The State of New Jersey and the people we represent deserve an honest and frank dialogue about Justice Albin’s qualifications, not partisan rants from atop the soapbox. As the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I will do everything within my power to make sure that we respect the non-political nature of this appointment, and will not stand by while some attempt to exploit this re-nomination for partisan gain.”