Governor Chris Christie nominated one of the Assembly’s most conservative members to be a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court. This had conservative observers wondering whether Christie did this in order to remake New Jersey’s judiciary, or simply “kick upstairs” a troublesome upstart.
Christie announced Friday his intention to nominate Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25-Morris/Sussex) for a judgeship in the Superior Court. (Which vicinage Christie nominated him for was not immediately clear, but Carroll is a long-time resident of Morris County, so presumably he ws nominated for the Morris vicinage.)
Salvator Rizzo of the Statehouse Bureau, and Max Pizarro of PolitickerNJ.com, both took note of the most salient event in Carroll’s history: his attempt, along with Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose (R-25), to block Christie’s budget for FY 2010, on the grounds that it wasn’t conservative enough. Pizarro also noted that Christie and Carroll ran against one another years ago for the Assembly; Carroll won.
Carroll told Rizzo, however, that he doubted that the budget had anything to do with Christie’s nominating him.
I’ve known the governor for 30 years. He knows my strengths and my weaknesses, and I’m very proud he’s nominated me to be a judge. This has not the slightest bit to do with the budget.
But former Senator Richard J. LaRossa gave this Examiner his opinion that the budget had everything to do with the nomination.
When you’ve got a big budget negotiation coming up, the best thing to do is to get any potential troublemaker out of the way.
RoseAnn Salanitri of the Sussex County Tea Party had a different view:
Christie has always made clear his intention of redeeming the courts of this State. Carroll’s appointment will be an excellent step in that direction.
Salanitri and LaRossa also took note of something else: that the Carroll appointment will put an Assembly seat in play that otherwise would not have been. This is actually the second probable vacancy in the Assembly that the Republicans will now have to defend, the first being James Holzapfel’s seat in the 10th District, as Holzapfel prepares to stand for the Senate seat that Andrew Ciesla will be vacating.
Salanitri said that she would move at once to recruit candidates in the 25th District in order to keep it in conservative hands. She was well aware that the boundaries of that district, and indeed of all districts, would not be finalized until April 4, one week before the filing deadline for the primary.
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