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State Sen. Vin Gopal. (Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Gopal praises Supreme Court pick as ‘exceptional’

Senator: ‘glad to see our judicial bench better resemble the richly diverse array of communities and perspectives that make our Garden State great’

By David Wildstein, June 06 2020 10:49 am

Senate Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) today lauded Gov. Phil Murphy’s nomination of Fabiana Pierre-Louis as an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and said he looks forward to meeting with her during the Senate confirmation process.

“Ms. Pierre-Louis is an exceptional pick for this position, and I have no doubt that she will bring the full weight of her experiences, expertise, and intellect to our state’s Supreme Court,” Gopal said.  “Her sharp legal mind and unique perspective will be a great asset to New Jersey’s system of justice, and I am glad to see our judicial bench better resemble the richly diverse array of communities and perspectives that make our Garden State great.”

As a freshman senator elected in 2017, this will be Gopal’s first confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice.  He voted to give tenure to a sitting justice, Anne M. Patterson, in 2018. 

If confirmed, Pierre-Louis will become the first black woman to serve on the state’s top court.

“I join all those who are celebrating the historic nature of Ms. Pierre-Louis’ nomination, and look forward to speaking with her as she seeks the confirmation of our New Jersey State Senate,” Gopal said.

Murphy named Pierre-Louis to replace Walter Timpone, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on November 10.

Gopal’s running mate, Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold), issued a statement on Friday saying that the nomination “ is another crack in New Jersey’s glass ceiling, and I’m incredibly proud to see the Governor select a woman of color whose legal mind, lived experience, and distinguished career will allow her to lend a new and exceptional perspective to our state’s highest judicial bench.”

“As a female attorney, I know how important it is that our legal system looks like the citizens it works for, and I am truly glad to see a woman of such integrity, empathy, and intellect nominated for this important position,”Downey said.

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