UNION CITY AND BEYOND – The state Senate Judiciary Committee voted Gov. Christopher Christie’s state Supreme Court nomination Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris out of the running Thursday seven to six according to online news sources. Union City Mayor and state Senator Brian Stack, a known ally of Christie, placed the single Democratic vote in favor of Harris.
As the third African American and the first openly gay candidate to be nominated to the state Supreme Court, Harris was criticized by Democrats for his prior statement that he would recuse himself from voting on same-sex marriage issues.
"If you asked me going into today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to confirm Bruce Harris whether I'd be disappointed if the committee turned down his nomination, I'd have said yes," Chair of Garden State Equality Steven Goldstein stated in an email. "As you know, I endorsed the nomination several times. It was an historic nomination for the LGBT community and Bruce Harris himself is obviously a very smart guy with an extraordinary legal education.
“But I added the caveat that Mayor Harris must adequately explain to the Senate Judiciary Committee his decision to recuse himself from voting on marriage equality."
Goldstein went on to state he felt Harris did not live up to his expectations. "Mayor Harris' answers were unfair to those of us who supported him and wanted to hear more," he said.