U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez has announced that he will release his hold Judge Patty Shwartz’s nomination to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Menendez said he decided to support the nomination after a second in-depth interview that was requested by Shwartz in a letter to the senator sent Wednesday.
“After an in-depth discussion today with Judge Patty Shwartz, I am pleased to announce that I am supporting her nomination to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Menendez. “Judge Shwartz satisfactorily answered questions covering important legal topics such as current law on the rights of corporations under the First Amendment, constitutional limits on Executive Branch power and the application of heightened standards of review under the Constitution. She adequately allayed my earlier concerns and I will be returning my Blue Slip.”
Menendez had held up Shwartz’s nomination through a form of senatorial courtesy. Critis suggested Menendez was playing politics with the nomination as Shwartz was one an employee of Gov. Chris Christie in the U.S. Attorney’s office. But Menendez dismissed the claim, saying instead that he held up Shwartz over questions about her competency gleaned from an interview he held with her.
Shwartz was nominated to the post vy President Obama and Menendez’s objection marked the first time a Democratic senator had stood in the way of a nomination from Obama.