After one full term, Gov. Christie has not been an ally to supporters of civil rights and liberties in New Jersey.
Since the last ACLU-NJ review of his civil liberties record in 2012, he has sunk to a failing grade in the area of transparency and has created a full-scale judicial independence crisis in the New Jersey Supreme Court with his politicization of the renomination process.
The governor has stood up for civil liberties and civil rights in some areas, though, such as in combatting discrimination against pregnant women and protecting the freedom of religion. But he has also proven to be tepid in recognizing LGBT equality, supporting immigrants’ rights and acting meaningfully to end the failed and wasteful war on drugs in New Jersey. In fact, the policies he supports have done little to end the war on drugs.
The ACLU-NJ will always commend Gov. Christie for standing up for civil liberties, even in small ways. But we also urge Gov. Christie to review his grades and strive to do better, as should any struggling student. In his second term, the governor still has time to take meaningful action that can significantly, tangibly, and instantly transform people’s lives and protect New Jerseyans’ rights in the ways that matter most.