Hearing set for Camden judge nominated to N.J. high court

The Judiciary Committee in the New Jersey Senate has scheduled a hearing for Oct. 17 on Gov. Chris Christie’s latest Supreme Court nominee.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Nick Scutari said he and Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, have decided to move ahead with the hearing for Camden County Assignment Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina — but no action is set on two other nominees.

“We can pick any one of the three. We don’t have an obligation to give anyone a hearing, and this is the one that we decided,” said Scutari, D-Union.

Sen. Kevin O’Toole, one of the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday he is not happy that hearings aren’t being held for two nominees the governor announced last year.

Superior Court Judge David Bauman and Board of Public Utilities President Robert Hanna “have been waiting for a long time,” he said. “I think all three deserve a hearing and an up and down vote.”

O’Toole says Fernandez-Vina is an accomplished judge and should be confirmed.

Scutari, who said the prospects for confirmation look good so far, said he does not expect the hearing will be as contentious as the ones last year when nominees Phil Kwon and Bruce Harris were rejected.

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