Kean: Judiciary Committee 'Prejudge' Harris
Senate Republican leader says the borough mayor is "perfectly qualified," according to the state Bar Association.
Sen. Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Union), the Senate Republican leader, attacked the motives of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who told The Star Ledger that Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris would not have enough votes to make it past the committee.
Harris was nominated to the New Jersey Supreme Court by Gov. Chris Christie in January, days after he was sworn in as the borough's new mayor.
Harris' confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday, May 31.
At the news the New Jersey State Bar Association deemed Harris and Kwon "qualified to serve on the state's Supreme Court," Kean said "it is astounding that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are willing to deny a fair hearing" to Harris.
The willingness of Democrats on the committee to "prejudge a nominee" whom the bar association said is qualified "reveals their motivations to be entirely political. The irony is that the same Democrats that bemoan politicization of the Judiciary are, in their treatment of Mr. Harris and Mr. Kwon, doing just that," Kean said.
Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said there was "very little on Mr. Harris that we have in terms of his legal background."
Harris graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1973. He also earned an MBA in finance and economics from Boston University in 1979 and a law degree from Yale Law School in 1992.
He has been admitted to the bar in New Jersey, New York and Washington. Since 2005, he has worked as counsel for Greenberg Traurig, LLC in Florham Park.
"He hasn't been in a court. He hasn't written legal briefs. He hasn't done legal analysis. He hasn't represented clients in court. He hasn't done any of those things which we associate with someone who's going to be elevated to the highest court in New Jersey," Scutari said.
Kean said Harris "brings a diversity of life and legal experience to a Court that serves all the people of New Jersey, not just the people who agree with or vote for Democrats. I implore the majority to stop the petty games and give Mr. Harris fair and objective consideration."