TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Chris Christie on Monday nominated two people to the New Jersey Supreme Court in a process Christie said has been transparent and bipartisan.
Christie nominated David Bauman, 56, of Holmdel and Robert Hanna, 54, of Madison for the state’s highest court.
WCBS 880′s Jim Smith reports
Bauman currently serves as the presiding judge for the civil division of the Monmouth County Superior Court, while Hanna is president of the state Board of Public Utilities, a cabinet-level position.
“It represents a compromise by this office to try to reach a place where we can get justices confirmed,” Christie told reporters including WCBS 880′s Jim Smith on Monday.
Bauman is a Republican and Hanna is unaffiliated with either major party.
“The State Senate themselves have unanimously confirmed both of them; Judge Bauman for the bench and Mr. Hanna for the presidency of the BPU,” Christie added. “I don’t really know what more they could ask for at this point. Their two main concerns expressed over time have been both partisan balance and diversity. These two nominees respect both of those concerns.”
The nominees would need to win confirmation by the state Senate to take the bench.
If confirmed, Bauman would be the high court’s first Asian-American. Hanna worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office with Christie.
The governor said his decision-making process was transparent with the Democratic Senate president. Christie also insisted he had no deal in place to secure the confirmations.
Christie said the court is currently made up of three Democrats, one Republican and one independent, while Democrats contend to court consists of three Democrats and two Republicans.
The governor and the Democratic-led state Senate have previously clashed over judicial nominations. Christie’s most recent selection was voted down, and the governor’s first nominee had her hearing stalled for a year.
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