TRENTON – Justice Helen Hoens, who was informed earlier today by Gov. Chris Christie that her term on the state Supreme Court would be ending in the fall, issued a statement in which she expressed thanks for having had the chance to serve on the court.
“I am immensely grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the people of the State of New Jersey over the course of the last 19½ years as a judge at the trial level, as a judge of the Appellate Division and, most recently, as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey,” Hoens said after Christie announced he would not renominate her over concerns that Senate Democrats had made it clear they would have opposed the renomination.
Hoens went on to say that “I have tried, in each of those roles, to approach each and every matter with an open and unbiased mind, to treat each litigant before the court with dignity and respect, to temper each decision with patience and compassion, and to apply the law as I understood it both faithfully and fairly.
“I am content, therefore, to let history judge me based on the body of work that I have had a part in creating.
“I am of course saddened that I will not be able to continue in this extraordinary professional calling, but I am thankful beyond words for the great privilege and honor of having been able to serve the people of this great State as a Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
Christie said today he would nominate Camden County Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina, also a Republican, to the court.
Christie said he blamed Senate Democrats, and Sen. Ray Lesniak in particular, who he said are putting politics over competence when it comes to the governor’s right to nominate justices for the court.