Pressler stopped Derman from going directly to Appellate Court

When Gov. Christine Todd Whitman nominated Harriett Derman to the Superior Court in 1998, she wanted Chief Justice Deborah Poritz to immediately elevate Derman to the Appellate Division.  Derman had served as Whitman’s Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel, and as Commissioner of Community Affairs, and Poritz had been Whitman’s Attorney General before she replaced Robert Wilentz as Chief Justice.  A judge going directly to the Appellate Division would have been unprecedented in New Jersey under the current State Constitution; judges are only promoted to the Appellate Division after distinguished service on the Superior Court.  Poritz, according to a source familiar with the events, was willing to grant Whitman’s request and discussed the idea with Sylvia Pressler, who was the Appellate Division’s presiding judge.  Pressler threatened to resign immediately if Poritz elevated Derman so quickly, and Whitman retreated.  Derman never made it to the Appellate Court.

Pressler stopped Derman from going directly to Appellate Court