TRENTON – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Union), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the announcement that Governor Christie has agreed to nominate Anne Patterson to fill the seat of retiring Associate Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto, as Senate leadership proposed earlier this year:
“Although I am glad we can now move forward, this development in no way sanctions the Governor’s unprecedented move to withhold reappointment to a sitting justice. I remain resolute that Justice Wallace should have received a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. For decades, our court has enjoyed a national reputation for excellence and independence. We must now work to restore that standing, and to ensure that Justices are free to decide cases based upon the principles set forth in the state Constitution without the threat of political repercussions.”
Scutari added that the Judiciary Committee will begin its work after the Governor formally resubmits the nomination of Anne Patterson to fill the seat of outgoing Justice Rivera-Soto.
“The members of the Judiciary Committee will conduct a full vetting of Anne Patterson’s qualifications, including a comprehensive review of her body of legal work, at an upcoming hearing. I look forward to that process.”