New Jersey may end governor & senate’s roles in appointing certain judges

Like many states, New Jersey uses several different methods of judicial appointment based on the level of the court or the geographical location served. New Jersey’s Supreme Court, Superior Court Appellate Division, and Superior Court use a quasi-federal system: the governor nominates and the Senate confirms an individual for their initial 7 year term; the governor can then renominate and the Senate reconfirm in which case the person serves until age 70.

The state’s municipal courts, however, are a different story altogether.

ACR 88 and the related AB 1566 would remove the governor and senate from the equation.

  • In multi-municipality or joint municipal courts, the method of selection would be chosen by the municipalities involved at their discretion when they agree to form the court.
  • The judge of a countywide central municipal court would be appointed by the county executive in those counties having a county executive and in all other counties would be appointed by the county governing body.

ACR 88 and AB 1566 are scheduled for a hearing before the Assembly Judiciary Committee on October 15.