N.J. Supreme Court nominee set for confimation vote

New Jersey Supreme Court nominee Walter Timpone answers lawmakers questions at his confirmation hearing before the state Senate Judiciary Committee.(Phil Gregory/WHYY)

New Jersey Supreme Court nominee Walter Timpone answers lawmakers questions at his confirmation hearing before the state Senate Judiciary Committee.(Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The New Jersey Senate will vote Monday whether to confirm Gov. Chris Christie’s latest state Supreme Court nominee.

At his confirmation hearing Thursday, Walter Timpone told the Senate Judiciary Committee that it was a humbling honor to be considered for a seat on the state’s highest court.

“I believe that I am well prepared for the enormous responsibilities for which you consider me,” he said. “I’m deeply aware of the many qualities that this constitutional office requires and the high standard with which I would be held as a member of the court.”

Timpone said he would be impartial in considering cases that come before the Supreme Court.

“I want to affirm that my independence and integrity, which I’ve strived hard to build and maintain in my 30 years of practice, will never be compromised,” he said.

A lawyer and former assistant U.S. attorney, Timpone also sits on the state Election Law Enforcement Commission

Judiciary Committee chairman Nicholas Scutari says lawmakers were satisfied with his explanation of why he recused himself from a vote on a complaint against the Essex County executive, a decision that brought an end to that investigation.

“I think we got a good candidate,” said Scutari, D-Union. “As a result of this guy’s varied experience and long legal career and his personal life story he was able to garner unanimous support.”

Sen. Joe Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, told Timpone he handled himself well in answering lawmakers’ questions.

“And I feel good about your nomination,” added Kyrillos. “I love your background.”

Timpone, a registered Democrat, was selected by the Republican Christie to satisfy Democratic lawmakers’ concerns about partisan balance in the court’s makeup.

Senator Nia Gill said she voted to advance Timpone’s nomination because he’s an excellent choice.

“As we go forward and others make decisions, I hope to add diversity to the court, but, even without that diversity now, you bring diverse experiences,” said Gill, D-Essex.

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