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New Jersey Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy. (Photo: New Jersey Courts).

Rabner taps Lougy as influential Mercer top judge post

Meteoric rise for former acting attorney general, who was named to bench in 2016

By David Wildstein, June 10 2021 10:09 pm

Superior Court Judge Robert T. Lougy, who spent two months as the acting attorney general of New Jersey in 2016, will assume the most powerful lower court judgeship in the state on September 1 as the new Mercer County Assignment Judge.

“The assignment judge for the Mercer Vicinage often hears cases relating to Executive, Legislative, and agency actions that have statewide impact. Judge Jacobson served in that role with great distinction,” said Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in a statement on Tuesday.  “Judge Lougy is a proven leader who possesses the experience and skills to ably guide the Mercer Vicinage going forward.”

Lougy will replace Judge Mary C. Jacobson, who is retiring after nine years as assignment judge and a total of 20 on the Superior Court.

This is a meteoric rise for Lougy, a Middlesex County resident who has not yet finished his first seven-year term on the bench.   He was nominated for the Superior Court by Gov. Chris Christie in 2016 after just two months as the acting attorney general and replaced him with his chief counsel, Christopher Porrino.

Lougy comes up for tenure in July 2023.

The 51-year-old judge could remain as assignment judge in Mercer for the next nineteen years.

He becomes the state’s most influential assignment judge after just two years in the civil division – he became general equity presiding judge after his first year — and three years in family court.

A former public defender, he spent ten years at the attorney general’s office, including five years in the Division of Law as an assistant attorney general and deputy director.  Lougy served as chief of staff and first assistant attorney general to acting attorney general John Jay Hoffman in 2015.

Lougy’s appointment maintains the substantial advantage among white assignment judges.  In the state’s 15 vicinages, two assignment judges are Black, and one is Latino.

Replacing Jacobson with Lougy shifts the gender balance of assignment judges from eight women and seven men to eight men and seven women.

The naming of Lougy was first reported by the Associated Press.

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