The nomination of Lee Solomon (R-Haddonfield) to the New Jersey Supreme Court is imminent according to NJ.com, Save Jerseyans.
It’s not a surprising pick. Many of us in the punditocracy saw it coming. And frankly, South Jersey is overdue for some love!
A little background: Judge Solomon is a career civil servant and a long-time friend of Governor Chris Christie for whom he served as Deputy U.S. Attorney. He also served twice as a Superior Court judge in my native Camden County, as the Camden County prosecutor for Christie Whitman, in the state Assembly for two terms (until he was defeated by Christie enemy Lou Greenwald in 1995) and even the Camden County freeholder board at one point (Yes, Republicans used to run Camco! A world before Norcross domination).
Not exactly your average resume, right?
Solomon left the bench in 2010 to head up the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) for the newly-minted Governor. After what many considered an admirable performance during Hurricane Irene, he departed the BPU in December 2011 and returned to the Camden County Vicinage as a Superior Court Judge.
No, his nomination isn’t the least bit surprising given Solomon’s extensive professional credentials and personal friendship with the Governor. The “inexperience” card is off the table during his confirmation hearing.
But interesting nevertheless, Save Jerseyans. Senate Democrats brutalized the Governor’s last two nominees – Philip Kwon and Bruce Harris – as part of an ongoing power struggle with their Republican adversary. Will the mild-mannered and well-networked Solomon get a pass? Or will he be the latest political casualty of a hyper-partisan judiciary committee preoccupied with scoring political points?
It’s going to be much, much harder for them to treat a sitting member of the State Judiciary with disrespect. Doesn’t mean they won’t try.
We’ll find out soon enough…