Senate President Steve Sweeney has joined the list of legislators calling for the removal of Superior Court Judges James Troiano and Marcia Silva, the centers of a political firestorm after they making controversial statements and rulings in two unrelated sexual assault cases.
“It’s baffling to imagine that anyone who has read the judges’ statements, or the appellate rebuke of their opinions, and does not believe they should be removed from the bench immediately,” Sweeney said.
The Senate leader’s statement comes after seven senators publicly called for Troiano and Silva to be removed.
“I stand with the Middlesex, Monmouth and Bergen County legislators of my caucus who have already urged the judicial branch to take strong, corrective action. These judges have shown an egregious absence of clear judgment, and if they are allowed to maintain their positions it will undermine public faith in the very institution of justice they serve.”
Troiano, the 1982 Republican candidate for Essex County Executive and a judge since 1992, refused to try a 16-year-old boy accused a raping a 16-year-old girl and sending a videotape of the assault to his friends as an adult.
Silva, a former GOP State Assembly candidate, is under fire for refusing a prosecutor’s bid to try a 16-year-old boy as an adult after he was charged with raping a 12-year-old girl. Silva ruled that she was unconvinced of any physical, mental or emotional injuries to the girl other than the loss of her virginity.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, State Sens. Patrick Diegnan (D-South Plainfield), Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro), Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver), Robert Smith (D-Piscataway), and Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge), and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood) have already spoken out about the conduct of at least one of the two judges.
The National Organization of Women New Jersey has also called for the ouster of Troiano and Silva.