Home>Governor>Statements in support of Supreme Court Justice-designate Michael Noriega

Supreme Court Justice-designate Michael Noriega. left, with Gov. Phil Murphy, center, and State Sen. Jon Bramnick on May 15, 2023. (Photo: Office of the Governor).

Statements in support of Supreme Court Justice-designate Michael Noriega

By David Wildstein, May 15 2023 8:09 pm

The following statements were released in support of Gov. Phil Murphy’s nomination of Michael Noriega to the New Jersey Supreme Court:

Jeff ChiesaFormer U.S. Senator and New Jersey Attorney General “Mike Noriega is a first-rate lawyer of the highest integrity who cares deeply about his home state and the many issues impacting communities throughout the state. Mike’s humility, sharp intellect and diverse experiences as a lawyer will make him an outstanding Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and I commend Governor Murphy for selecting such an excellent candidate.”

Governor James McGreevey

“Governor Murphy has made an excellent choice with the nomination of Michael Noriega for the New Jersey Supreme Court. An accomplished criminal and immigration lawyer, Michael has practiced before regulatory agencies, trial court judges, and the Appellate Division. Mr. Noriega has offered compassionate and professionally accomplished services to many of our NJRC program participants. Michael has consistently placed himself as an advocate and protector for those vulnerable due to immigration status. This nominee represents the best traditions of our State: legal excellence, compassionate service, and practiced wisdom.”

Matthew S. Adams, President of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey

“Michael Noriega’s rare combination of intellect and humility make him uniquely qualified to serve as an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. His professional accolades are matched only by the unanimous consensus of his peers that he is a terrific person. His career has been dedicated to ensuring that everyone, no matter their station in life, is afforded the full due process protections that our legal system provides. As a Supreme Court Justice, he will no doubt continue to do so. The Governor could not have selected a more even-handed, compassionate, empathetic, and talented individual to serve on the Court.”

Jeralyn L. Lawrence, New Jersey State Bar Association President:

“Today’s nomination of Michael Noriega offers a promise of relief in the historic vacancies that have faced our state’s highest court for months. Restoring the Supreme Court to a full bench for the first time since December 2021 marks an important step in upholding the independence and integrity of our Judiciary, as well as ensuring that our state’s highest court better reflects the diversity of our great state. Mr. Noriega has been an active member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, serving as the 2018-2019 chair of the Immigration Law Section and is a current member of the Judicial Administration Committee and Legislative Committee, and he was also a member of the Association’s Pandemic Task Force. We urge the Senate to provide an expeditious hearing for Michael Noriega. We also continue to be concerned about the nearly 60 vacancies facing our Superior Courts. We hope that efforts will remain focused on addressing those vacancies that have had a deep and lasting negative impact on the people and businesses that call our state home.”

John Kip Cornwell, Interim Dean and Professor of Law at Seton Hall University: “Michael Noriega is a cherished Seton Hall alumnus and a beloved adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law, most recently teaching our required Appellate Advocacy course. His willingness to generously share his knowledge with our community has benefitted our students immeasurably. We are, in addition, extremely proud of his tireless work on behalf of the immigrant population in New Jersey. It is wonderful that his values and intellect can now find a home on the state’s highest court.”

New Jersey Public Defender Joseph Krakora

“Today is a special day in the 56-year history of the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. Governor Murphy’s nomination of Michael Noriega to the New Jersey Supreme Court represents the first time a public defender has been selected to serve on our State’s highest court. Mr. Noriega worked for this office from 2003-2008 as a staff attorney in our Essex Trial Region before going into private practice. Since that time, he has represented our clients as designated counsel and served, on a volunteer basis, as an advisor to our attorneys on issues related to immigration consequences for non-citizen clients. He is a first class attorney with integrity and a true commitment to social justice and equal protection under the law for all New Jersey residents. He will make a great addition to the Court and I am proud to call him a colleague. He is the perfect choice to become the first former public defender on the NJ Supreme Court.”

Kevin Brown, Executive Vice President and NJ State Director, 32BJ SEIU

“32BJ SEIU has long advocated for the dignity and respect of our workers and immigrant communities, which constitute the core of our state’s rich diversity and cultural heritage. To that end, we applaud Governor Murphy for his nomination of Michael Noriega, a proud Peruvian-American and son of Peruvian immigrants, to the NJ Supreme Court. Through his work, Michael has proven to be a friend of underrepresented communities in NJ, having stood with them in the past, and we trust that he will ensure that justice prevails for these same communities in the future. Latino leadership and representation are critical in all branches of government, and we are happy to know that the Governor shares this understanding as well.”

Democratic National Committeeman Tonio Burgos

Today I find myself applauding and supporting Governor Phil Murphy for his recognition of the contributions of Latinos in the practice of law by the excellent selection of a former public defender and current immigration litigator, Michael Noriega to the state’s highest court. Michael will bring a breath of experience not just because of his wealth of experience of law but because of his great knowledge of the Latino community in New Jersey.”

Virgilio Aran, National Organizer, National Domestic Workers Alliance

“Personally, I strongly support the nomination by Governor Phil Murphy of Michael Noriega to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Throughout his career, Noriega has demonstrated a profound knowledge of the law and a commitment to defend those in need and represent marginalized communities. Having Michael Noriega in NJ Supreme Court means that our highest Court at the state level will be more in touch with the reality many families face daily. His years of advocacy for the vulnerable and his commitment to justice and equality will be invaluable to our Court. He brings a unique perspective missing from the Court, one of understanding and empathy for all New Jerseyans.”

Mario López, General Coordinator, Coalition of Peruvian Leaders and Institutions of New Jersey

“On behalf of the Coalition of Peruvian Leaders and Institutions, a Coalition that represents leaders of nonprofit organizations statewide, from Paterson to New Brunswick, and beyond, we are pleased to learn that Governor Murphy has nominated Michael Noriega to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The story of Michael is a story that is shared by many Latino families statewide. Being the son Peruvian immigrants, we know that Michael will bring a unique and wholly indispensable perspective as the third Hispanic on the New Jersey Supreme Court. We join the Latino community across New Jersey in standing alongside Michael, and we are pleased that Governor Murphy selected a pride of our community for the highest position in the State Judiciary.”

Manuel Corales, President of the Peruvians United of NJ, of Union City

“It fills us with pride and joy to know that a leader of Peruvian descent has been nominated by Governor Phil Murphy to serve on the NJ Supreme Court. Michael Noriega’s dedication and commitment to justice and public service are a testament to his worth, and we express our support and appreciation for his contribution to our state’s judicial system over the years. A Latino voice in this position is indispensable. Thank you, Governor Murphy.”

Reverend Raul Ruiz, President of the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers: “As President of the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers, it is my pleasure to congratulate Michael Noriega upon his nomination. Michael is an outstanding example of how far hard work and dedication can lead you. Michael has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to serving the Latino community throughout his career.  We are proud of all that he has accomplished and we look forward to his continued leadership in the law.”

Dr. Jonathan Holloway, Rutgers University President

“Governor Murphy’s nomination of Michael Noriega as Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court speaks to his commitment to maintaining the highest intellectual standards on the Court and for assuring that the Court is as diverse as the people who some before it. The nomination of yet another Rutgers alumnus to the court, who will join Rutgers alumna Associate Justice Fabiana Pierre-Louis, underscores the Governor’s respect for our university and the education that Rutgers provides. The Rutgers community is thrilled by today’s nomination.”

Erick Martinez, Latino American Democratic Association President

“As the Latino American Democratic Association, we are thrilled to see that Governor Phil Murphy has nominated Michael Noriega to serve as an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, making him the lone Hispanic on the state’s highest court. This historic appointment is a significant step forward in ensuring that the voices and perspectives of Hispanic Americans are represented in the highest levels of government. Noriega’s experience as a former public defender, immigration rights advocate, and ACLU outside counsel will undoubtedly bring valuable insights to the court’s decisions, particularly in cases related to criminal justice and immigration. We commend Governor Murphy for making this important appointment and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our community.”

Orlando Miranda, President of the Peruvian Civic Association

“On behalf of the Peruvian Civic Association of New Jersey, I want to congratulate Michael Noriega on his nomination as an associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. We are very proud of his achievements and accomplishments. The Peruvian Civic Association of New Jersey thanks Governor Murphy for this historic announcement.”

Reverend Bolivar Flores, Vice President of the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers

“I have known and worked with Michael for many years. Throughout Michael’s career, I have witnessed his integrity and professionalism. Michael has been a foundational element of our immigration initiative, Espiritu Latino, in providing free consultations to clients in dire need. On behalf of our 468 churches, we applaud the Governor’s nomination.”

Amy Torres, Executive Director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

“Few other attorneys in the state have demonstrated such a deep commitment to fighting against ICE overreach and for immigrant defense. Though our state population is effectively half people of color, and though nearly one in four New Jerseyans is foreign born, racial disparities remain widespread throughout our criminal and legal systems. Mr. Noriega would bring an important perspective and deep fund of prior experience defending liberty and justice for all New Jerseyans.”

Silvia Perez Wenson, President of Peruvian for Progress, Inc.

“Peruvians for Progress is proud to support Governor Murphy’s historic nomination of Michael Noriega to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Michael represents the momentous impact and the very best of Peruvians in New Jersey – we are happy as Peruvians, but overjoyed as Latinos, knowing that we could have a Latino representation in the State’s highest court. Also, as an organization with a large footprint in Union County, we are thrilled to know that the Governor’s nominee comes from this county; Governor Murphy could not have picked a better nominee to fill this critical role.”

Maritza Davila, Paterson Councilwoman At-Large

“I am elated to hear the Governor’s announcement of his intention to nominate Michael Noriega to the New Jersey Supreme Court. As the first Peruvian Councilwoman in the City of Paterson, I know what it’s like to be the first Peruvian in important spaces, and as the first Peruvian & potentially third Hispanic to ever serve on the Court, I know Michael will provide a much-needed unique perspective to the Court. Michael’s track record highlights his immense compassion to the diverse communities in New Jersey, both documented and undocumented. If my father, a Proud Peruvian himself, was still alive, he would have rejoiced knowing a qualified, well-prepared Peruvian prepares to sit on the highest court in NJ. I look forward to seeing the good work he will continue to carry out as a justice on our state’s Supreme Court.”

Romi HerreraGarfield Councilman

“Today is a monumental day for the Peruvian community here in New Jersey. As one of a handful of Peruvian elected officials in New Jersey, I am incredibly happy to hear of the Governor’s intention to nominate Michael Noriega to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Mr. Noriega has been steadfast in his efforts to support underserved communities, particularly that of documented and undocumented individuals. His accomplishments as an immigration and criminal defense attorney and public defender give him a distinctive set of skills that he will bring to the court. I look forward to seeing all that he will achieve in his new role.”

Jesus R Huaranga, Harrison 1st Ward Councilman 

“We thank Gov. Phil Murphy for the nomination of Michael Noriega to the open seat in the New Jersey Supreme Court. As a councilman for the last 17 years of service in the city of Harrison with a large Peruvian community including myself, we feel so proud and wish him a good luck in his journey as a judge of the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

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