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ACLU-NJ Statement on Judicial Independence and the Reappointment of Justice Rabner

May 21, 2014

NEWARK – Today, Gov. Chris Christie announced he will re-nominate Chief Justice Stuart Rabner to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

The following is a statement from Ed Barocas, legal director of the ACLU-NJ:

“The people of New Jersey rely on an independent judiciary to protect their constitutional rights. The tenure of a sitting justice should never be tied to his or her judicial philosophy or decisions during his or her initial term.

The announcement today of the reappointment of Chief Justice Rabner is appropriate given that his fitness and qualifications for the position have never been in doubt. Indeed, as Chief Justice, he has ensured that individuals appearing before the Court have been treated with respect and have had a fair opportunity to be heard.

Today’s announcement, however, does not resolve the broader judicial independence crisis that has existed in New Jersey for more than four years.

Judges are tasked with protecting individual rights and civil liberties even when it is not politically popular. The ACLU-NJ supports efforts to ensure that members of New Jersey’s judiciary will never again fear that their job security is tied to the outcome of the cases before them. Such reforms are essential to protecting the rights of New Jersey’s most vulnerable populations, and today’s announcement should only strengthen New Jersey’s resolve to protect the integrity of our judiciary once and for all.”

Category: Additional Issues

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