Predicting a rising GOP star

A prediction on a rising star in North Jersey Republican politics: Morristown attorney Cheryl Stanton, who returned to the state last summer after serving in the Bush administration as Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel. Stanton, 37, was a Law Clerk to then-U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito, and is now a partner at Ogletree Deakins, a national law firm with offices in Morristown.

Stanton was a member of White House Judicial Selection Committee, where she helped evaluate candidates for federal judgeships. A Letter to the Editor she submitted to about the New Jersey Supreme Court is worth reading:

The 2009 Gubernatorial race offers New Jerseyans a unique opportunity to learn about how the New Jersey Supreme Court impacts their lives.

As a recent poll showed, New Jerseyans do not know who is on the New Jersey Supreme Court, but New Jerseyans do not like their decisions.

94 percent of the people polled could not name a single New Jersey Supreme Court Justice. But when asked, 62 percent disagreed with the Court’s ruling that the state Democratic Party could change their candidate for the Senate race in 2002 from Robert Torricelli to Frank Lautenberg, even though a New Jersey statute stated that the deadline had passed, all 21 county clerks in the state opposed it, and it was estimated to cost upwards of $800,000 to reprint and send replacement ballots. Similarly, 59 percent of those polled disagreed with the Court’s ruling that the Boy Scouts of America must comply with the state’s antidiscrimination laws and could be required to allow homosexual adult malestoserve as Assistant Scoutmasters. (In that instance, the United States Supreme Court ultimately was forced to reverse the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision – not because it was unpopular politically, but because legally it was incorrect.)

This year’s Gubernatorial candidates — including the sitting Governor –can and should educate the New Jersey electorate both about the New Jersey Supreme Court’s previous rulings, and about where each candidate stands on the proper role of the Court. We applaud the candidates who have discussed this issue, encourage those who have not to begin doing so.

Predicting a rising GOP star