Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Monday, November 28, 2022

Custom and Senate Confirmation of New Jersey Supreme Court Nominees Results in Democratic Governor Appointing a Republican

New Jersey's Democratic Governor Phil Murphy nominated a Republican, Douglas Fasciale, to the state's supreme court. Republican Senator Holly Schepisi says this nomination is the result of Schepsi's deal with Murphy, according Katie Sobko, writing for northjersey.com.

Sobko adds that an unwritten rule of senatorial courtesy "allows senators to block judicial nominees from their home county," which Sen. Schepisi did in blocking Gov. Murphy's nomination of Rachel Wainer Apter for a different seat on the NJ Supreme Court. The deal apparently unblocked Wainer Apter in exchange for nominating Republican Fasciale. 

"These nominations — Fasciale, a Republican, and Wainer Apter, a Democrat — maintain the 70-year tradition of having a political power balance on the state’s highest court," Sobko notes.

Both nominees were confirmed by the state senate.