Christie denies Supreme Court tenure to Wallace

    Only African-American on New Jersey Supreme Court does not get re-appointed

    The only African American on the New Jersey Supreme Court is being denied tenure. Governor Chris Christie has decided not to re-nominate Justice John Wallace.

    The Governor says the state’s high court has been out of control in usurping functions of the legislative and executive branches, and he wants to replace Wallace to change the court’s constitutional philosophy.

    “I’ve great both personal and professional respect for Justice Wallace. I just believe that if you look at his overall body of work that it represents a different philosophy. That philosophy being that it is okay to legislate from the bench. I don’t believe it is.”

    Senate judiciary committee member Ray Lesniak says the Governor’s decision not to re-appoint Wallace is an attack on the independence of the judiciary.

    “The last thing we want is a judge, particularly a Supreme Court justice to be looking his shoulder when he decides a case, wondering how the Governor is going to view his reappointment based on what he decides the case.”

    Lesniak says the Senate will not approve Christie’s nomination of Morris County lawyer Anne Patterson to replace Wallace.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal