TRENTON – At a news conference in the Statehouse today, Senator Ellen Karcher announced that she would introduce a measure which would prohibit the disgraced practice of senatorial courtesy, in which members of the Senate can stall nominations without any public discussion.
“This reform is about finally opening up the backroom door and making the business of the Senate more open, transparent and accountable. While I understand that the Senate’s duties to ‘advise and consent’ on gubernatorial nominees is an invaluable check, we cannot let those powers be abused,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “Senatorial courtesy is a relic whose time has long since passed, allowing individual lawmakers to hold nominees hostage in order to obtain favors from the Governor on legislation or Christmas Tree appropriations. Rather than provide thoughtful critique of the Governor’s choice for certain nominations, the system has devolved into an example of an anonymous set of backroom dealings, done in the dark away from public scrutiny.”