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State Sen. Joe Lagana at Gov. Phil Murphy’s FY2024 Budget Address. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Lagana says he’ll support Noriega nomination

Bergen County lawmaker serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee

By David Wildstein, May 16 2023 1:56 pm

State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will vote to confirm Michael Noriega as an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

“This nomination comes at a crucial time when New Jersey has been facing the need to fill judicial vacancies across all levels of our court system,” Lagana said.  “By filling the last seat of our highest court with a nominee as qualified and committed to equality and justice as Michael Noriega, we are taking a significant step forward in ensuring the smooth functioning of our judicial system.”

Lagana becomes the fifth member of the Senate to voice support for Noriega’s nomination, and the third member of the Judiciary panel.

“It is essential that our judiciary reflects the rich, diverse tapestry of our population, and Mr. Noriega’s efforts defending the rights of the most marginalized members of our society has garnered him the respect of the legal community and beyond,” he said.  “I look forward to meeting with him and supporting his nomination, and I am confident that Mr. Noriega will serve with integrity, wisdom, and dedication.”

A former public defender, Noriega was nominated to the top court on Monday by Gov. Phil Murphy.   He would replace Justice Barry Albin, who retired in 2022 after 19 years on the Supreme Court.

If confirmed by the Senate, Noriega will become the lone Hispanic on the New Jersey Supreme Court.

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