In his brief questioning of state Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin, state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Middletown) offered some measured criticism.
“I do not think you’re an ideologue. I do not think that you’re a justice that over time a vast majority of New Jerseyans would be uncomfortable with. But I do 5hink you need to draw on your instincts, your abilities to be a leader on the court in the years to come, that you need to look at the practical effect that past decisions have had,” he said.
Kyrillos said that Albin had conducted himself with integrity, shown keen intellect, legal skills and a good temperament. He based his criticism of the court’s history of rulings on school financing, which he said had a negative impact on the state’s residents. Albin, he said, struck out on his own once in a while, but not enough.
“I’m not going to support you today, but I hope that I’ll be heartened in the years to come if you’re confirmed today and the floor o the senate Thursday by your leadership,” he said.
Still, Kyrillos briefly mentioned the case in which the court allowed U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg to replace Robert Torricelli on the ballot, despite missing the deadline — a sore spot with Republicans since then.