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The New Jersey State Senate chamber in Trenton, NJ

Judiciary shrinks to 11 members

By David Wildstein, January 12 2018 11:35 pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee will have two less members this year, with Senate President Steve Sweeney and Minority Leader Tom Kean agreeing not to fill the seats of two Senators who did not seek re-election.

The powerful panel, which must approve all gubernatorial nominations before the full Senate votes on them, will go from thirteen members to eleven.   Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) and Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) retired from the upper house earlier this week.

Democrats will have a 7-4 majority on the panel, which means that incoming Gov. Phil Murphy must hold at least five of the seven to see his nominations advance.

Kristin Corrado (R-Passaic) will keep her Judiciary assignment.  She was assigned their last year after replacing Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex), a longtime committee member.

Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) will continues as Chairman, along with Democrats Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), Nia Gill (D-Essex), Nellie Pou (D-Passaic), Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) and Brian Stack (D-Hudson).  The Republican members are Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen), Christopher Bateman (R-Somerset), Michael Doherty (R-Warren), and Corrado.

The committee has a decidedly North Jersey bent.  The Senator who lives the furthest south is Smith, a resident of Piscataway.    But that doesn’t matter: the Senate President is from Gloucester County, and if he doesn’t want a nomination to advance, it won’t.

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