The newest member of New Jersey’s Supreme Court is a Cuban-American judge from Camden County.
The state Senate confirmed Faustino Fernandez-Vina Monday by a vote of 38-to-0.
Fernandez-Vina brings talent and a strong work ethic to the court, said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean.
“A respect for precedent, a respect for the separation of powers and the way that they exist,” Kean said. “So he brings no new agenda except his best capacity to serve to the bench.”
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Nick Scutari is holding up action on Gov. Chris Christie’s other two Supreme Court nominees because he says Democrats want to maintain a political balance on the court.
“We’re not going to allow the court to get hijacked and have all Republicans sitting on the court just like we wouldn’t want to see that to be all Democrats,” Scutari said. “There’s been a traditional partisan balance on the court, and we want to make sure that that happens.”
Scutari, who said having two open seats on the Supreme Court does not hurts its effectiveness, said the appellate court judges serving in an acting capacity may be more experienced than the nominees.
Fernandez-Vina will take his oath as a justice at 10 a.m. Tuesday and will be on the bench when the court hears oral arguments.