Statement of New Jersey State Bar Association President Domenick Carmagnola on judicial vacancies

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In light of New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner’s announcement today that he will not fill a second vacancy on the high court left as a result of Justice Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina’s retirement, the New Jersey State Bar Association urges that the Governor nominate candidates to the bench as soon as possible and work diligently with legislators to ensure the successful confirmation of each, in the way the framers of our Constitution intended. The Supreme Court is the pinnacle of our independent, third branch of government and all efforts should be taken to ensure it can return to full strength as soon as possible. 

In addition, with historic numbers of vacancies throughout the court system, many of which have been pending for several years, there are too few judges serving the bench. Coupled with the impact of the pandemic, the vacancies have resulted in staggering backlogs and too many people waiting for justice. The NJSBA reiterates its call on Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders to take all reasonable measures to fill the rising number of judicial vacancies on the state’s courts, including two on the New Jersey Supreme Court.