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Fabiana Pierre-Louis is nominated to the New Jersey Supreme Court by Governor Phil Murphy. (Photo: Chris Pedota.)

Senate panel sets August 24 confirmation hearing for Murphy’s top court nominee

Fabiana Pierre-Louis could be confirmed as early as August 27

By David Wildstein, July 27 2020 12:48 pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for Fabiana Pierre-Louis, Gov. Phil Murphy’s nominee for Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court for August 24, Judiciary Committee Chairman Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) told the New Jersey Globe.

If approved by the committee, Pierre-Louis could be confirmed by the full Senate as early as August 27.  The Senate has a voting session scheduled for that day.

Murphy announced his intention to nominate Pierre-Louis, a former federal prosecutor, on June 5.  She will become the first Black woman on the state’s top court if the Senate confirms her.

Pierre-Louis has the 21 votes needed to win confirmation, according to a New Jersey Globe tally based on reviewing public statements and following private conversations with senators.

The justice she would replace, Walter Timpone, is not due to retire until he turns 70 on November 1.  But Timpone has indicated through back-channels that he is willing to leave early if Pierre-Louis can get confirmed.

The new session of the New Jersey Supreme Court begins on September 1.

No confirmation hearing has been scheduled for Associate Justice Fernandez-Vina, who was renominated to a tenured term on the court by Murphy in June.

Fernandez-Vina is the lone Hispanic on New Jersey’s top court.

There is no apparent opposition to Fernandez-Vina, who was named to the Supreme Court by Gov. Chris Christie in 2013.  He is expected to move through the Senate in September with no interruption in his judicial service.

A Republican known as Fuzzy, Fernandez would serve until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 on February 15, 2022 if he is confirmed by the State Senate.


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