Murphy appoints first openly gay attorney general in New Jersey history

Andrew Bruck (Office of AG)

Andrew Bruck (Office of AG)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday that Andrew Bruck would be appointed acting attorney general for the remainder of Murphy’s term.

Bruck, who is first assistant attorney general, has been part of the office’s executive leadership since outgoing Attorney General Gurbir Grewal was confirmed in January 2018. The announcement comes one day after the Securities and Exchange Commission named Grewal the new head of its enforcement division. Grewal’s last day with the state is July 16.

Murphy also noted that Bruck will be the first openly gay attorney general in state history.

“This reflects our contributing commitment to ensuring our state government reflects the rich diversity of our residents and fellow New Jerseyans,” he said.

Grewal praised his successor, in a news release, as “one of the sharpest legal minds and finest public servants I have ever met.”

“He has worked tirelessly to stand up for the rights of New Jerseyans,” he added, “having shaped some of our office’s most important policies and respond to many of our state’s most complex legal challenges.”

Bruck is a Garden State native, having grown up in Montclair and Mendham. A graduate of Princeton University and Stanford Law School, he clerked for New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. He would go on to be a litigation associate for the New York office of Davis Polk & Wardell.

He began his life in public service with the federal government, serving in several roles in the Justice Department under Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Bruck was assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey prior to joining the state Attorney General’s Office.

Murphy credited Bruck for taking a lead role in rebuilding trust between police and law enforcement, and for “and to stand[ing] up for New Jersey’s residents in the face of attacks from Washington, D.C.” Bruck also led negotiations in the early days of the pandemic when public defenders pushed to release many people from county jails, according to NJ.com. He also worked on legislation to remove some mandatory minimum sentences.

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