Joseph Capriglione, WNYC/NJPR
Joseph Capriglione works in the WNYC newsroom as an Associate Producer for New Jersey Public Radio.
It's been a long-time tradition in New Jersey for governors to reappoint sitting judges, regardless of political party, in order to maintain a bipartisan state judiciary when their seven-year term is up.
But in his first campaign for governor, Gov. Chris Christie promised to remake the court in a more conservative image. In 2010 he attempted to replace a sitting Supreme Court Justice by declining to renominate him. In 2013, he did it again.
Now, the New Jersey Bar Association is calling for an amendment to the state's constitution that would limit the governor's ability to remove a sitting judge in an attempt to prevent the state's courts from becoming another partisan battleground.
"It would take what had been a tradition and it would memorialize it," said former State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Poritz. "[It would] make it explicit that appointments of seven years did not have to do with politics anymore."