The leaders of two top New Jersey organizations that advocate for social justice issues today praised Gov. Phil Murphy’s expected nomination of Michael Noriega, an immigration attorney and former public defender, to serve as an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
“The New Jersey Supreme Court hears cases that impact all New Jerseyans, especially the least powerful among us,” said Amol Sinha, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. “If confirmed, we look forward to arguing before Mr. Noriega and the rest of the Supreme Court to continue that vital work.”
Noriega has represented the ACLU on cases dealing with immigration rights before the state’s highest court.
“Mr. Noriega’s experience as both a public defender – the first in the long and distinguished history of the New Jersey Supreme Court – and someone who has represented people in immigration proceedings will bring important perspectives to the Court and should serve our state well as the Court seeks to promote justice and individual liberty for all New Jerseyans,” Sinha said.
Sara Cullinane, the director of Make the Road New Jersey, a grassroots immigration rights group, also commended Murphy’s pick of Noriega.
“Michael possesses legal acumen of the highest caliber and deep experience and expertise across multiple areas of the law,” said Cullinane. “He has devoted his career to standing up for the most vulnerable New Jerseyans and has worked tirelessly to open doors to the courts so that everyone – no matter their income or where they were born – has access to justice.”
If Noriega is confirmed, he will become the second justice named by Murphy with ties to the ACLU. Rachel Wainer Apter served as an ACLU staff attorney before joining state government.