State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) ended his one-year stint as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee today with plaudits from both parties. Since taking over the chairmanship in January when John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) went to Congress, the Judiciary Committee has expanded its role in providing advise and consent on gubernatorial nominees, as evidenced by the confirmation hearing of New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin. Judicial candidates, including those being reappointed to a tenured slot, seem to have received a more thorough examination under Sarlo then they did during the seven years Adler ran the committee. Sarlo also won praise for his handling of an eight-hour public hearing on same sex marriage from activists on both sides of the issue. The Bergen County Democrat will chair the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee during the next session; his replacement will be State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden), who appears to be a strict constructionist of the advise and consent powers as well.