New Jersey Chief Justice Seeks Consensus Candidate for Redistricting Panel

July 24, 2021 by Dan McCue
New Jersey Chief Justice Seeks Consensus Candidate for Redistricting Panel
Judge Stuart Rabner

New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner has asked Democrats and Republicans to reconvene the state’s redistricting commission and come up with a consensus candidate to act as the tiebreaker in upcoming districting decisions.

Rabner first made his desire for a consensus candidate known in a letter sent to Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders earlier this month.

“As I did a decade ago, I am inviting both parties to submit proposed names for a tiebreaker,” the judge wrote on July 8.

“If there is a match, I would be favorably inclined to appoint the individual,” he said.

Under the state constitution, if the two political parties can’t agree on a new map of New Jersey’s 40 state legislative districts following the decennial census, the chief justice alone is empowered to pick an 11th member to serve on the redistricting commission and break any ties.

Rabner, it’s clear from the letter, would rather stay out of the political fray of redistricting.

But the two parties aren’t making it easy. When they met last week, Democrats chose former Supreme Court Justice John Wallace and Republicans selected former Superior Court Judge Marina Corodemus.

In a second letter, this one to the leaders of the redistricting commission, Rabner asked that both parties agree to submit one, consolidated list of their preferred candidate for tiebreaker.

“In the past, the commission has shown great wisdom by following that path. Its venerable practice has served the public well,” the judge said.  “A spirit of compromise and consensus will enhance that effort and elevate public confidence in the commission’s work, as has been true in the past.”

In the event the two parties still can’t come up with a consensus candidate, Rabner has designated Stewart Pollock, a retired state Supreme Court justice, to review the names on both lists and advise him of any matches.

Ten years ago, both parties agreed on Alan Rosenthal, who had spent 20 years as director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, to serve as tiebreaker, eliminating the need for Rabner to pick the 13th member.

According to state law, 12 of the 13 commissioners are appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the legislature and the chairs of the state’s two major political parties. These 12 commissioners then appoint the last commission member. If they cannot agree on an appointment, the commissioners must submit two names to the state supreme court and the court must then appoint the final commissioner. 

If they can’t agree — and they haven’t — the selection of the tiebreaker goes to the full seven-member New Jersey Supreme Court, who must make their selection by August 10.

Rabner asked for a response by July 30.

Rabner wants to avoid having the court take sides in a political appointment with potential national implications.

According to The New Jersey Globe, a publication that provides extensive coverage of state politics, this is the first time in memory the two parties have not agreed on a thirteenth member for congressional redistricting.

A+
a-
  • New Jersey
  • redistrcting
  • Stuart Rabner
  • tiebreaker
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Political News

    RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Will Leave Post March 8 as Trump Moves to Install Loyalists

    NEW YORK (AP) — Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel will leave her post on March 8, having been forced out of... Read More

    NEW YORK (AP) — Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel will leave her post on March 8, having been forced out of the GOP’s national leadership as Donald Trump moves toward another presidential nomination and asserts control over the party. McDaniel announced her decision in a statement on Monday morning.... Read More

    February 25, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Trump Wins South Carolina Primary, Haley Outperforms Polls

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former President Donald Trump soundly defeated former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the state Republican presidential... Read More

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former President Donald Trump soundly defeated former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the state Republican presidential primary on Saturday, but she vowed to fight on and planned to be in Michigan, the next state going to the polls, on Sunday. In the... Read More

    February 23, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Government Begins Preparing for Partial Shutdown

    WASHINGTON — Federal agencies got their first concrete indication the threat of a looming government shutdown is getting serious on... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Federal agencies got their first concrete indication the threat of a looming government shutdown is getting serious on Friday, as the White House Office of Management and Budget began circulating its guidance to those who will be impacted if lawmakers fail to reach a... Read More

    February 22, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Biden Meets With Alexei Navalny's Widow and Daughter

    SAN FRANCISCO — President Joe Biden met with the late Russian dissident Alexei Navalny’s widow and daughter in California on... Read More

    SAN FRANCISCO — President Joe Biden met with the late Russian dissident Alexei Navalny’s widow and daughter in California on Thursday, and later said he’d be announcing sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, “who is responsible for his death, tomorrow." The meeting with Yulia Navalnaya and... Read More

    February 22, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    House Democrats Launch Inquiry Into Nationwide Drug Shortages

    WASHINGTON — Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability are pressing some of the nation's largest drug manufacturers... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability are pressing some of the nation's largest drug manufacturers for answers on why there are still intermittent and repeated shortages of cancer meds and other drugs. Led by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the ranking member... Read More

    It's an Election Year, and Biden's Team Is Signaling More Aggressive Posture Toward the Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — Occupants of the White House have grumbled over news coverage practically since the place was built.... Read More

    NEW YORK (AP) — Occupants of the White House have grumbled over news coverage practically since the place was built. Now it's Joe Biden's turn: With a reelection campaign underway, there are signs that those behind the president are starting to more aggressively and publicly challenge... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top