All four Democratic senators from South Jersey will vote to confirm Michael Noriega as an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
With support from Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Barrington), James Beach (D-Voorhees), Troy Singleton (D-Delran), and Fred Madden (D-Washington Township), Noriega now has the backing of eleven senators – more than half of the 21 he needs to be confirmed – according to a New Jersey Globe tally.
Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Noriega on Monday to replace Barry Albin, who served on the state’s highest court for nineteen years before his retirement in 2022. Albin and Noriega are both Democrats.
Noriega would be the lone Hispanic on the New Jersey Supreme Court if confirmed.
Cruz-Perez becomes the first Hispanic senator to be added to the Noriega Yes-vote column.
Under the unwritten rules of senatorial courtesy, Noriega needs signoff from the three senators who represent his home county, Union. He already has one: Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), his law partner.
Noriega is an immigration lawyer and former public defender who has represented the American Civil Liberties Union on immigrant rights cases.