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Tag: supreme court

DuHaime’s Solid Point About NH Attack Ads

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

According to NH Journal, the 501(c)(4) advocacy group Judicial Crisis Network will launch new “television, radio and digital advertising” in New Hampshire on Wednesday ahead of Governor Chris Christie’s latest RGA-related trip to the presidential battleground.

Christie is there to raise money; they’re there to raise the issue of his judicial nominations.

Here’s the spot:


Lance: SCOTUS Should Hear Subsidy Cases

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

LanceRep. Leonard Lance (NJ-07) responded to Tuesday’s circuit split over Obamacare’s exchange subsidies by calling on our nation’s highest tribunal to take up the question, Save Jerseyans.

“Today’s legal rulings are very consequential and undoubtedly will not be the last word on the matter,” Lance opined in a statement. “Millions of taxpayer funds have already been dedicated to these exchanges and now the market, insurers and consumers are left in limbo.  This is the exact reason why Congress should not pass thousand page bills without thorough analysis.  The Administration has consistently been forced to re-work, delay or completely ignore parts of the President’s law as it finds the statute unworkable.  The Supreme Court of the United States should review this matter in its coming term.”


Hobby Lobby Myths Obliterated

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

truthThere is sooo much bad information floating around concerning this week’s Hobby Lobby opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court, Save Jerseyans, that I couldn’t help but try to loudly and proudly dispel a few of the worst myths. Some of the Twitter comments weren’t just vile and dumb; they were symptomatic of a generation completely bereft of civics knowledge.

For a little further reading, the good folks over at NRO did a bang-up job of dissecting Justice Ginsburg’s dissent point-by-point; Hobby Lobby itself also devoted an entire website to clearing the air. Here are the broad strokes…

Myth #1: Hobby Lobby won’t cover female contraception.


What Does Harris Mean for New Jersey?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

U.S. Supreme CourtMany New Jersey owners of closely-held businesses are breathing a sigh of relief after today’s “Hobby Lobby” decision, Save Jerseyans. Another decision, however, had the potential to generate vastly greater consequences for Garden State taxpayers.

Did it? Yes and no.

You can read the Harris v. Quinn opinion here. Both of Monday’s big U.S. Supreme Court decisions were authored by Justice Samuel Alito, one of the Court’s reliable conservative votes.

The super short version (I’ve only had a chance to skim the opinion, and I make no pretense of being a constitutional expert)….


Lesniak Asks Obama to Turn a Blind Eye

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Ray Lesniak

Ray Lesniak

“Aren’t they selling marijuana in Colorado and Washington?” he asked. “Isn’t that against federal law?”

Ray Lesniak’s got a point, Save Jerseyans, and you won’t hear those five words escape this blogger’s mouth very often.

He’s an ardent supporter of legalizing sports betting in New Jersey but, following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to NOT hear a Christie Administration challenge to a federal law permitting sports betting in four states (but not here), state Senator Lesniak told NJ 101.5 that he plans to forge ahead with legislation legalizing the practice in New Jersey.


Christie’s Supreme Court Presser

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie announced the reappointment of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner to the N.J. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Save Jerseyans, in addition to the first-time appointment of his long-time ally Lee Solomon, Camden County’s current Assignment Judge, to fill one of two vacancies.

Not everyone is thrilled. “It’s sad to see this is what it has come to,” said AFP state director Daryn Iwicki in a Wednesday afternoon pre-press conference release. “When Gov. Christie was elected taxpayers had hope that one of the most radical supreme courts in the land would be re-made. Instead, if today’s reports are true, the governor has all but waved the white flag of surrender to Steve Sweeney and obstructionists in the majority party.”

It’s all going down at 2:30 PM….

Watch LIVE right here:

Watch live streaming video from governorchrischristie at

Christie Cuts Deal for Rabner (and Solomon)

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Lee Solomon

Lee Solomon

h/t Matt Friendman:

“According to three sources with knowledge of the agreement, Rabner — who has been chief justice since 2007 — will be nominated by Christie for tenure, and serve until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2030.

Christie, in turn, will get to nominate with Sweeney’s support a close ally to one of two vacant seats on the court: Superior Court Judge Lee Solomon, a Republican who previously served as president of the Board of Public Utilities.

Spokesmen for Christie and Sweeney declined to comment.”

I bet they did!


Drake News Deflates #2A Backers

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

U.S. Supreme CourtNearly half of the states in the Union stepped up to challenge New Jersey’s woefully unconstitutional anti-concealed carry gun control law, Save Jerseyans, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari in the Drake v. Jerejian matter on Monday, dealing a heavy blow to Second Amendment enthusiasts in our home state and beyond.

They had hoped that the narrowly-leaning conservative High Court would seize upon the opportunity to expand upon its landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision.

No such luck. Not this time around.


NJ Supremes Stay COAH Ruling

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

coahThe Christie Administration received a little bit of good news on Tuesday afternoon, Save Jerseyans, despite having to watch the latest chapter in the Bridgegate spectacle play out in Mercer County Superior Court.

New Jersey’s Supreme Court granted a temporary stay of  a March 7th order requiring the infamous Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) to convene and concoct new rules directing municipalities in the process of allocating lower income housing.


Maddow’s “Get Weinberg” Theory

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

I loathe Rachel Maddow’s worldview, Save Jerseyans, but she’s good at what she does. Much like Alex Jones on the polar opposite end of the ideological spectrum, she’s capable of putting together seemingly obvious or mundane tidbits crusted around the peripheries of stories and presenting it to her audience in a way that doesn’t sound completely crazy.

Here’s a great Bridgegate example:

Maddow’s theory has some holes. You’ve probably caught most of them. For starters, how does punishing one town in LD37 make Steve Sweeney (who is orchestrating the whole strategy to block Christie’s judicial appointments) suddenly feel affected?


Sizing-Up Sweeney’s Save Jersey Tweet

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Photo Credit: Senator Sweeney's twitter feed

Photo Credit: Senator Sweeney’s twitter feed

We figured it’d be fun to check out Senate President Steve Sweeney’s “Twitter Thursday” this past week, Save Jerseyans, to see if he’d answer one of our questions.

#2A supporters hadn’t had much luck but what did we have to lose?

Only 140 characters.

Surprisingly enough, the Democrat front runner for 2017 (or his staffer) deigned a response…


O’Toole Wants to End N.J. Senate Filibusters

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

o'tooleSenator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic), a staunch ally of Governor Chris Christie who almost became Senate Minority Leader last month, wants to end N.J. Democrat efforts to block his Supreme Court nominees by following the federal Senate’s lead by abolishing filibusters for judicial nominees.

Specifically, O’Toole would like to see a rule ending the practice of using senatorial courtesy to indefinitely postpone high court nominations and requiring a vote on each and every gubernatorial nominee to the New Jersey Supreme Court within 90 days from the date of nomination.


Christie Gets Second Justice

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

FuzzyCamden County Superior Court Assignment Judge Fernandez-Vina is officially on his way to the New Jersey Supreme Court, Save Jerseyans, after the State Senate approved his nomination earlier Monday.

Governor Chris Christie celebrated Fernandez-Vina’s ascension:

“I congratulate Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina on his unanimous and historic confirmation to become the only Hispanic member of the Court. With his extensive experience in both the private and public sector, Judge Fernandez-Vina is eminently qualified to serve on New Jersey’s Supreme Court, and has earned bipartisan support from leaders on both sides of the aisle. I am glad the legislature left politics out of this process and gave Judge Fernandez-Vina the smooth confirmation he deserves.”

Today’s confirmation is a rare victory for Governor Christie on the Supreme Court front; his tactical alliance with Senate President Steve Sweeney and the South Jersey political machine hasn’t extended to judges, a situation which has produced only two (2) new justices (counting Fernandez-Vina), numerous Superior Court vacancies and very little change on the high court during the Republican’s first term despite his concerted efforts.

The NJ GOP’s inability to pick up any state senate seats on November 5th could result in an epic clash for summer 2014 when Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, an old Christie ally from his U.S. Attorney days but who has used his position to block many Christie reforms, is up for reappointment next summer.

Christie Nominates Justice, Seeks Stay

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Sweeney and Christie discussing their "compromise" with the media.He first made the announcement back in the beginning of August, Save Jerseyans, but the Governor formally nominated Camden County Superior Court Assignment Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina to the New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Christie Administration advised the state’s High Court that it would, as expected, both appeal the decision of Mercer County’s Assignment Judge to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey and seek a “stay” of gay marriages in the Garden State pending the resolution of the appeal.

Control of the State Senate keeps getting more consequential with every passing day, doesn’t it?

Vote accordingly.

One More Reason to Fire Steve Sweeney

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

School LunchesHere we go again, Save Jerseyans.

“Other problems cited included the district at one point having 42 teachers who had no assigned students and more than $500,000 paid to students in a mentoring program.” That’s from an AC Press report on a newly released audit of the Pleasantville School District, one of New Jersey’s 31 “Abbott Districts” that the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered state government to sink an extra $500 million into back in 2011.

Money well-spent? Apparently not!

According to the auditors, Pleasantville wasted millions through redundant hiring, failing to track enrollment and allotting funds to programs that were never enacted. They also failed to conduct background checks on nearly 100 employees. Lovely.


POLL: Is a Diverse Supreme Court Important to You?

Christie US SenateEarlier today Governor Christie made yet another appointment to the New Jersey Supreme Court, something he seems to have to do quite often since the Democrats have made a habit of delaying and even denying his previous, qualified nominees. This time, the reason for the impending vacancy is that Senator Lesniak, in partisan, “war on women” fashion, made it clear that Justice Helen Hoens would not be reaffirmed by the Democrats in the State Senate.

Christie’s latest choice for the court that is always changing laws up on us here in New Jersey is Camden Assignment Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina. Fernandez-Vina was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor McGreevey in 2004, and has been praised by both Democrats and Republicans in the past.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. put out a statement earlier today that highlighted how diverse this nomination was,

Assignment Judge Fernandez-Vina has an impressive track-record that has earned him a pair of overwhelming New Jersey Senate confirmations, appointment to the state Superior Court by a Democratic governor and resounding praise from Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Fernandez-Vina brings diversity as a Hispanic man who stands to be the only Supreme Court Justice from South Jersey

Fernandez-Vina is also registered as a Democrat, but says he is Republican. Camden County Superintendent of Elections Phyllis Pearl confirmed today that the D next to the Judge’s name was merely a technical glitch that occurred during a software switch at the Board of Elections, and that since Fernandez-Vina never votes in primaries, it was never corrected. Apparently the registration is being switched to Republican now that it has met scrutiny.

So here is my question to you, Save Jerseyans. Is a politically, racially, or geographically diverse Supreme Court important to you? Do you believe that these demographic differences make for better justice in our state? Or is the focus on what we can see when we look at Judge Fernandez-Vina, and really every nominee that gets put up for the job, damaging to the process?

Is a Diverse NJ Supreme Court Important to You? free polls 

Lonegan Reacts to DOMA Decision

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Steve LoneganSteve Lonegan issued the following statement today, Save Jerseyans, reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor:

Today’s decision is the unfortunate result of an activist, liberal court that has little respect for the Constitution and our nation’s founding principles. While I believe government should not be in the business of marriage, it is not the Supreme Court’s responsibility to make that decision. Laws should be made by legislatures, not by unelected judges. To do so is a usurpation of our democratic tradition at the heart of this country’s founding.”

I’ve only given the decision a cursory read at this point (click here); I’ll write a more in-depth post at a later date. BUT, in fairness to Steve, it wouldn’t be the first time in American History that the U.S. Supreme Court (or the feds in general) arrived at the right conclusion via the wrong way. I share the libertarian belief that government should “get out” of marriage. Did the Supremes’ decision do more harm than good in the process? To be continued…