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Superior Court Judge and Supreme Court nominee Douglas Fasciale. (Photo: Joey Fox for the New Jersey Globe).

Fasciale gets thumbs up from N.J. Bar Association

Supreme Court nominee may now move to Senate process

By David Wildstein, September 29 2022 10:38 am

New Jersey State Bar Association Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee has signed off on Gov. Phil Murphy’s nomination of Douglas Fasciale to serve as an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Fasciale was given a grade of qualified.

His next stop is the New Jersey State Senate, where he must get through a vote by the Judiciary Committee and win confirmation by the full Senate.

Under an agreement between Murphy and Senate Republicans, Supreme Court Justice-designate Rachel Wainer Apter and Fasciale will move as a package.

Wainer Apter, a Democrat who served as an ACLU staff attorney and law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has been awaiting a confirmation vote since March 2021.  Murphy picked Fasciale, an Superior Court judge for the last 18 years, and a Republican, to fill the seat left vacant by another Republican justice, Faustino Fernandez-Vina, in February.   He is currently assigned to the Supreme Court on a temporary basis since the state’s top court is down to four member.

The role of JPAC comes as a result of the Hughes Compact, an agreement originally negotiated between Gov. Richard J. Hughes and the Bar Association in 1969 that requires governors to submit the names of judicial and prosecutorial nominees to the Bar Association for evaluation.

It’s now up to every governor to decide if they want to participate in the Hughes Compact.

After JPAC rejected the nomination of Peter Verniero as a Supreme Court Justice, Gov. Christine Todd Whitman terminated the deal.    Gov. Chris Christie, who had signed the Hughes Compact, amended it to eliminate the binding effect on a nominee deemed not qualified by the Bar Association.

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