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State Sen. Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale).

New Jersey’s newest senator in power position on Murphy Supreme Court pick

Rachel Wainer Apter will need sign off from Holly Schepisi to get confirmed by State Senate

By David Wildstein, March 14 2021 6:27 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy’s anticipated nomination of Rachel Wainer Apter to the New Jersey Supreme Court potentially makes Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale) an immediate powerhouse ten days before she’s due to be sworn into the New Jersey State Senate.

Schepisi will be one of four Bergen senators – and the only Republican – with senatorial courtesy over Wainer, a resident of Englewood.

If Schepisi doesn’t sign off on Wainer Apter, the nomination will not advance under an unwritten rule that requires home county senators to approve confirmable picks before a Senate vote.

The senator-elect told the New Jersey Globe on Sunday that she’s not ready to make any determination.

“I’m looking forward to sitting down with her,” Schepisi said.

Schepisi won a special election convention last week to succeed Gerald Cardinale, who died last month at age 86. Cardinale was the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee and spent his nearly 40 years in the Senate as a watchdog over judicial nominees.

It’s still no clear if Assemblyman Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan), who came within eight votes of wining the Senate seat, will challenge Schepisi in the June Republican primary.

Schepisi is unlikely to make any decisions on Wainer Apter, a former American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney and law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, until after the April filing deadline or the primary election.

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