Patterson hearing scheduled for May 31

Supreme Court nominee Anne Patterson is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary on May 31 as part of an agreement between Gov. Chris Christie and the Senate Democrats.

If confirmed by the Senate, Patterson would replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera Soto, who asked not to be appointed to another term on the court.

Patterson’s nomination has been held up for over a year as Senate President Steve Sweeney refused to green-light her Judiciary hearing.  The controversy stemmed from Christie’s decision to jettison Justice John Wallace, the court’s only black judge, and appoint Patterson in his place.

Sweeney took issue with Christie’s action and vowed Patterson’s nomination would not be heard until 2012, when Wallace would have faced mandatory retirement.

Earlier this month, Christie and Sweeney announced a compromise.  Christie would remove Patterson’s name from consideration to replace Wallace and re-nominate her as the replacement for Rivera-Soto. In exchange, Sweeney guaranteed a quick hearing for Patterson.  Wallace’s spot will remain vacant until 2012.

Patterson’s hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Patterson hearing scheduled for May 31