State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark) is thrilled by Gov. Phil Murphy’s new Supreme Court nominee.
“If you’re asking me to give you my first impression, it’s the most beautiful American story that we need now more than ever,” Ruiz said, adding that Fabiana Pierre-Louis was “a qualified woman who has already broken barriers in her prior professional work experiences.”
Murphy on Friday announced his intent to nominate Pierre-Louis, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at Montgomery McCracken, to replace Associate Justice Walter Timpone, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on November 10.
If confirmed by the Senate, Pierre-Louis would become the first black woman to serve on the state’s high court. She would also be the third black New Jerseyan to secure a seat on the panel.
“I think what’s more critically important for us here in the state of New Jersey is that we — as senators and elected officials and the administration — whenever we get the opportunity to make sure that any board, or any policy decision-making table or an office, it should be reflective of who we are in the state, and that’s what her nomination indicates today,” Ruiz said.
The prospective justice has already gotten glowing reviews from a number of Democratic senators, including Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), Sen. Brian Stack (D-Union City) and Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Palmyra), who has senatorial courtesy over her nomination.
Those three sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will interview Pierre-Louis if her nomination progresses.
“I look forward to meeting her,” Ruiz said of the 39-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants. “And she’s so young, which is awesome.”