N.J. Senate committee rejects Supreme Court nominee Phillip Kwon

 A New Jersey Senate panel has rejected Gov. Chris Christie’s nominee for the state Supreme Court, handing the Republican governor a rare political defeat.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-6 Thursday against Phillip Kwon. During a hearing before the vote, Kwon was grilled about his political affiliation and involvement in a lawsuit against the family’s liquor store, the Associated Press reported.

Christie’s second nominee for the state’s high court will be considered at a later date.

Kwon, 44, was a registered New York Republican for more than a decade but registered as an unaffiliated voter in the Garden State last year.

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The state’s high court already has two Democrats and two Republicans each, and is looking for balance. Harris, Christie’s other nominee, is a Republican.

Kwon would have been the court’s first Asian American judge.

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