Menendez recall effort back in court on Feb. 26

A panel of Superior Court judges accelerated a hearing over whether a group has the right to start a petition drive to recall U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken).

The hearing is set for Friday, February 26 at 10am at the Appellate Division courtroom in Trenton. 

The Committee to Recall Robert Menendez, which is affiliated with the Sussex County Tea Party, filed a notice of intent for its recall petition drive with former Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells in September.  Two months later, after the office did not act on the notice, the group filed suit.

The Secretary of State’s Office, now under the control of Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno, holds that although state law permits the recall of statewide elected officials, U.S. senators fall under the purview of federal law, which does not provide for recall proceedings. 

The case is significant not because the group has a realistic shot at recalling Menendez (they would need signatures from 25% of registered voters, which amounts to about 1.3 million New Jerseyans), but because it could set a precedent for New Jersey and the 17 other states that allow for a recall of statewide officials. 

Menendez recall effort back in court on Feb. 26