Weekly Advance: Week of May 28

TRENTON – There’s no need to wait until July Fourth to see fireworks in Trenton.

Next week’s legislative calendar is mostly quiet sans Thursday, which could more than make up for the toned-down week.

Gov. Chris Christie’s other nominee to the state Supreme Court, Bruce Harris, is scheduled to go before the Senate Judiciary for an interview. Sources are indicating it’s likely Harris will meet the same fate of Christie’s other nominee, Phil Kwon, who was blocked from the state’s high court by the Democrat-controlled committee.

“I don’t think it’s going to be an extraordinarily long hearing because there’s just not a lot of experience to question him on,” Sen. Nicholas Scutari, (D-22), Linden, the committee’s chairman, said early last week.

His statement set the tone for the hearing and, more than a week out, it quickly become apparent Harris was facing an uphill battle.

The statement also prompted heated responses from Senate Republicans and Christie’s office alike, all of which argued Harris’ top-notch education and his work at well-regarded law firms makes him more than qualified enough for the job.

“Before a second of testimony has been heard or a single question has been asked, once again Democrats are disrespecting the nomination process and rushing to judgment to kill another qualified man’s nomination before he even sits in the committee room,” said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts.

So, Thursday is the day.

Pull up a chair and be prepared to hear the word “experience” mentioned more than once.

Democrats will argue they couldn’t possibly allow a nominee with such a lack of courtroom experience to sit on the state’s highest court. Republicans will argue he does have the necessary skills and say it’s sickening to have a nominee disqualified before he even sits down for his interview with the Senate Judiciary.

After Kwon was blocked from serving on the Supreme Court, Christie kept his calm during a post-Judiciary hearing news conference.

Can the same be expected if Democrats shoot down another nominee? And if the response isn’t in the form of a public statement, how will the governor’s office ultimately respond?

But perhaps the most critical question was one posed last week by Sen. Gerald Cardinale, (R-39), Demarest, who also serves on Senate Judiciary.

“Will they release him from committee? Only God knows,” he said.

Week of May 28

 

Monday, May 28

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

Nothing scheduled

Assembly

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

Daily Events

 

Tuesday, May 29

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

Nothing scheduled

Assembly

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

4 p.m., Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board Meeting, 401 East State St., 1st floor, Public Hearing Room, Trenton

Daily Events

10 a.m., Task Force on Heroin and Other Opiate Use (Public Hearing) – Former Gov. Jim McGreevey and 14 task force members, Room 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

 

Wednesday, May 30

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

Nothing scheduled

Assembly

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

Daily Events

10:30 a.m., Improving Opportunities for Working Women in N.J., featuring Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, (R-12), Colts Neck, at Wilson Hall Auditorium, Monmouth University, West Long Branch

12 p.m. and 6 p.m., Film Screening, “Bully,’’ anti-bullying movie, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, (D-37), Englewood, Englewood Mayor Frank Huttle III, noon screening reserved for school groups; 6 p.m. screening open to public, Bergen Performing Arts Center.

 

Thursday, May 31

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

10 a.m., Senate Judiciary Committee, Room 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

2 p.m., Senate Session, Senate Chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Assembly

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

Daily Events

 

Friday, June 1

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

Nothing scheduled

Assembly

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

Daily Events

11:45 a.m., NJ BIA New Good Neighbor Awards Luncheon, Pines Manor, 2085 Route 27, Edison

Weekly Advance: Week of May 28