N.J. high court gets temporary judges to fill two vacancies

The Chief Justice of New Jersey’s Supreme Court is reassigning two appellate judges to temporarily fill vacancies on the state’s highest court starting next month.

Gov. Chris Christie says that makeup of the court is not optimal.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted not to confirm two of Christie’s previous nominees for the high court because of questions about their qualifications.

The governor maintains Phil Kwon and Bruce Harris were rejected for purely political reasons.

“We’ve been working hard here to come up with some nominees to put forward. I’m hopeful that we’ll do that in very short order, but we’re still working on it. We have it down to a group of finalists,” Christie said Wednesday. “I’ll be meeting with those folks and making some decisions very soon.”

Christie isn’t sure whether he’ll announce both nominees at the same time.

He would not say if both would be Republicans.

“I intend to nominate two people who I think are qualified and that are consistent with the approach that I want to take to the court. If I found an independent that I really liked maybe I’d nominate an independent,” the governor said. “It very much depends upon the qualifications of the people.”

Christie has criticized the judiciary for trying to make laws instead of interpreting them.

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