For Immediate Release:
Director of Media Relations
State Bar Association affirms Judicial Compact
New Jersey State Bar Association President Susan A. Feeney released a statement this week in response to Gov. Chris Christie's comments regarding the vetting of his two state Supreme Court nominees, Phillip Kwon and Bruce Harris. President Feeney highlighted the role the Association plays as a non-partisan step in the process. She also emphasized the Association's commitment to upholding the spirit and integrity of the Judicial Compact, which has been affirmed by every governor to hold office since Gov. Richard J. Hughes.
Here is President Feeney's statement:
"In 1969, Gov. Richard J. Hughes entered into an agreement, known as the Judicial Compact, with the New Jersey State Bar Association which memorialized and established the NJSBA’s role as the only non-political element in the appointment process for judicial and prosecutorial office in New Jersey. Under that Compact, the NJSBA reviews the qualifications of candidates, under rules of strict confidentiality, and reports to the Governor whether those candidates are qualified or not qualified. Every Governor since Gov. Hughes has reaffirmed the Compact, including the current Judicial Compact, which was signed by Gov. Christopher J. Christie on April 14, 2010.
Paragraph 7 of the current agreement provides the following:
‘The Chair of the State JPAC (Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee) will communicate the Committee’s determination of candidates to the Governor’s office only. In the event the Governor appoints a nominee despite a “Not Qualified” determination by the State JPAC, the New Jersey State Bar Association may appear and testify before the State Senate Judiciary Committee concerning its determination and the reasons therefore.’
The New Jersey State Bar Association is fully committed to honoring the spirit and intent of the Compact, and has and will continue to evaluate all candidates thoroughly. Given the Judicial Compact’s requirement for strict confidentiality, we will make no comment regarding these specific nominees and no further comment regarding our review."