New Jersey

  • April 2, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his intention to retire last week. The New Yorker considers Reid’s impact on federal judiciary, particularly his focus on federal judges rather than simply Supreme Court nominees in Senate deliberations.

    Senate Republicans remain slow to confirm judicial nominees. A comparison of recent trends to the final two years of George W. Bush’s presidency made by People for the American Way reveals just how problematic the delays are.

    John Michael Vazquez, one of President Obama’s most recent United States District Court judge nominees, “comes as the District of New Jersey faces three judicial vacancies and will soon have a fourth.” The New Jersey Law Journal provides a look at the nominee and the problem of judicial vacancies in New Jersey.

    There are currently 55 vacancies, and 23 are now considered judicial emergencies. There are 18 pending nominees. For more information see

  • February 16, 2012

    by Jeremy Leaming

    New Jersey lawmakers, in historic fashion, advanced equality, by voting to allow lesbians and gay men to wed. As The Star-Ledger notes it was the first time the Assembly “had ever voted on the measure.”

    It also follows this week’s action in Washington, where Gov. Chris Gregoire enacted a marriage equality law. That state joined New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa and Washington, D.C. in supporting same-sex marriages. Not surprisingly, Religious Right activists are vowing to topple the Washington law, by placing it before voters.

    In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie (pictured) has said he would veto the marriage equality bill. He says civil liberties of lesbians and gay men should be placed before voters. The Star-Ledger says the veto may happen today.

    Still, supporters of marriage equality celebrated the vote. Assemblyman Reed Gusciara (D-Mercer) said “this is probably one of the highlights of my legislative tenure – no matter what the ultimate outcome may be.”

    The Maryland legislature is also considering a marriage equality measure. Maryland Gov. Marin O’Malley, unlike Christie, is supporting equality. After Washington lawmakers approved its marriage equality bill, O’Malley issued a statement saying, in part, “It is time for Maryland to do the same.”