TRENTON — While advocating for Justice Albin’s renomination, New Jersey State Bar Association President Alan Etish came under attack by two Republicans.
State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) said that it was a potential conflict of interest for his organization’s own committee to endorse Albin and then represent someone in front of the state Supreme Court.
“Why does that not constitute an ethical breach? After all, you practice law in the state of New Jersey, and you will, some of you, potentially appear in cases where the justice will have to make a decision,” he said.
Etish responded that it might be appropriate for Albin to recuse himself if Etish himself has business with the court, but not all of the organization’s members, as Cardinale suggested.
State Sen. Baroni (R-Hamilton) then went after Etish for a Star-Ledger op-ed in which he argued that some members of the committee had been unfair to Albin.
Etish defended it by saying “I just think that the trial that occurred before anyone ever came here — in the newspapers and publicity machines — was unfair. The threat that there was going to be three or four or five days before this committee was unfair to Justice Albin,” he said.
That made Baroni visibly upset
“It is the Senate that has been given the constitutional requirement to ask questions a justice, and I was offended that you called our approach… misguided and a threat,” he said.
”State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) backed Baroni up, saying he too was offended by Etish’s op-ed.