Some Republican senators haven’t decided whether they’ll back Gov. Phil Murphy’s nominee to the New Jersey Supreme Court, and that includes the one Republican lawmaker who could sink Rachel Wainer Apter’s nomination all on her own.
“I have just started to receive some items on her and am doing the appropriate diligence,” said State Sen. Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale), adding she was not prepared to rule out invoking senatorial courtesy.
The unwritten rule allows senators to block indefinitely gubernatorial nominations from their home county. Schepisi is the only Republican who can exercise courtesy over Englewood resident.
Should Schepisi sign off, Democratic votes will likely be enough to confirm Wainer Apter. Other members of the GOP caucus will have a lesser effect on the process, though many of them remain undecided.
“There’s a lot of information or testimony that I’ve not yet become familiar with,” said State Sen. Chris Connors (R-Lacey). “By the time it trickles down to somebody like Chris Connors, it’s shortly before there might be a vote on it. So certainly, that will solidify as time goes on, but I really don’t know right now.”
State Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Toms River) was similarly undecided.
Democrats have been far more willing to back the nominee. State Sen. Ron Rice (D-Newark) added his name to those supporting Wainer Apter’s bid for the bench Thursday.