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.

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.

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

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.