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If Jon Corzine decides to appoint a caretaker United States Senator to fill the remaining year of his term, central casting has someone to fill the role: trailblazer Anne E. Thompson, the first African American and first woman to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge and county Prosecutor in New Jersey. Thompson has spent 26 years as a Federal Judge, including several years as Chief Judge; she has served as the Mercer County Prosecutor, as Trenton Municipal Court Judge, as a leader of George McGovern’s 1972 campaign in New Jersey, as a lawyer for the Great Society (she worked for the U.S. Department of Labor in the Johnson administration) and as a Howard University Professor. Thompson, now 71 and on senior status, has unimpeachable ethics and strong liberal credentials — perhaps exactly the person Corzine might want if he chooses to make history by appointing an African American woman to the Senate. Editor’s note: If Thompson were to be a U.S. Senator, one of her first votes would be on the confirmation of one of her colleagues, Samuel Alito, to the U.S. Supreme Court. A vote for or against Alito by another Federal Judge would surely make national news.

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