Rahat Babar, a Superior Court Judge whom the New Jersey Globe previously reported would resign after just under ten months on the bench, will take a new job at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) as the organization’s deputy executive director for policy.
NAPABA said in a press release that Babar will begin his new job in May 2023; it’s not yet clear when he’ll resign from the Superior Court.
“We are so fortunate to have such a legal luminary and NAPABA stalwart lead our policy efforts,” NAPABA executive director Priya Purandare said. “Rahat is a proven bar leader and policy expert who is uniquely situated to help ensure that our national advocacy vision and civil rights priorities can be carried out across the country by harnessing the passion and collaboration of our members and affiliate bar organizations.”
Babar was nominated to the Superior Court in February 2022 and was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate in May. He took office in June in the Family Division of the Mercer County Vicinage, though he himself is a Camden County resident.
At 41, Babar could have served on the bench for nearly 30 years and moved far beyond the Family Division, where most new judges are placed. He also made history as the first Bangladeshi American to become a Superior Court judge, an important factor for Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, which has made diversifying the state judiciary a top priority.
Now, with Babar headed for the private sector sometime within the next few weeks, Murphy’s team will have to start all over again and find a new nominee to replace him. Given that there are dozens of vacancies already plaguing the judicial system – causing civil and matrimonial trials in six counties to be suspended entirely – that’s not an enticing prospect.