A Senate panel has rejected Gov. Chris Christie's Asian-American nominee to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
The Democratic panel voted 7-6 against Phillip Kwon, handing the Republican governor a rare defeat.
Kwon was grilled through the day Thursday about his political affiliation and involvement in a lawsuit against the family's liquor store.
The 44-year-old faced questions about a New York liquor store owned by his mother and wife.
Kwon's mother made 222 cash deposits from store proceeds just under the amount that would trigger federal reporting.
The family forfeited $160,000 to settle civil charges.
Democrats also raised questions about Kwon's politics. He's an independent but had been a Republican.
Consideration of a second nominee, lawyer Bruce Harris, was postponed.