GOP legislator vows to vote against any honors for Poritz

Assembly Democrats tell PoliticsNJ.com that there are no plans to honor retiring New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Deborah Poritz with a resolution at the next voting session of the General Assembly in December. But one Republican legislator, Richard Merkt of Morris County, says that he would vote against such a resolution if the Speaker decides to offer it for a vote. From Merkt: “A simple ‘No!’, however loudly uttered, does not begin to express adequately my sentiments concerning the lasting harm the outgoing Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court has done to the state constitution and the people of New Jersey during her tenure in office. Poritz and other of her colleagues have stripped the people of their right to control the growth of state debt. As a direct result of their disregard of the clear intent of Article VIII, state debt has grown from about $4 billion 15 years ago to roughly $32 billion today, with a further $10 billion (at least) on the horizon. Aside from “construing” away key rights reserved by the people under the state constitution, she has displayed utter contempt for the principle of separation of powers and a shameful inability to locate Articles III and IV of the state constitution, respecting same.” “She and other of her colleagues have repeatedly invaded and usurped the constitutional powers of the people’s elected representatives, substituting their own personal notions of what the law should be for laws duly enacted by the Legislature and governor. Poritz and her court have made an absolute mockery of representative democracy in New Jersey and pushed the Garden State every closer to a ‘juristarchy,’ in which unelected judges decide public policies, rather than the people’s elected representatives.” “She and her colleagues effectively have invited interest groups of every stripe and flavor routinely to circumvent the democratic legislative process by the simple tactic of filing a lawsuit, which then has allowed the New Jersey Supreme Court to impose its personal predilections as the last word on every public policy from school funding, to land use, to election rules, to same-sex marriage.” “Quite simply, she has been flat out the worst chief justice in the modern era of New Jersey history, and her tenure as a blatantly activist judge has been an ongoing affront to New Jersey as a constitutional democratic republic. The only comment on her departure I could conceivably offer is, ‘Thank heavens, she’s gone at last!'”

GOP legislator vows to vote against any honors for Poritz