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State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Pennacchio waiting to review hearing before deciding how he’ll vote on top court pick

Fabiana Pierre-Louis cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee by an 11-0 vote on Monday

By David Wildstein, August 24 2020 5:49 pm

Senate Minority Whip Joseph Pennacchio has not yet ready to say if he will vote to confirm Fabiana Pierre-Louis to the New Jersey Supreme Court when the full Senate considers the nomination on Thursday.

Pennacchio says he wants to hear from his Republican colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee and hear the transcript of her confirmation hearing.

“She has a compelling life story to tell,” said Pennacchio, who told the New Jersey Globe that he spoke with the Associate Justice-designate last week.

The two shared stories about Brooklyn, where Pennacchio grew up and where Pierre-Louis was born and lived until her family moved to Irvington.

Pennacchio said he doesn’t believe in litmus tests for judges and only asks that members of the judiciary use a “moral compass and exercise common sense.”

The Judiciary Committee cleared Pierre-Louis by an 11-0 vote on Monday after a hearing that lasted about 100 minutes.

Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Pierre-Louis in June to replace Walter F. Timpone, who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 this year.

If confirmed by the Senate, Pierre-Louis would become the first Black woman to serve on new Jersey’s highest court.

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