“Whatever your issue is — whether it is abortion, marriage, guns, property rights — all of them eventually boil down to the courts,” she said.
“It turns out sometimes power comes with liability, and for Christie, his judicial power packs another kind of set of political land mines for him,” Mr. Jacobs said, adding that social conservatives already distrust Mr. Christie. “He is going to be blamed for what he [wasn’t] able to accomplish rather than celebrated for what he tried to accomplish.”
But David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, downplayed the significance, saying that it might not turn out to be as big a political liability as people might think.
“This is going to all be part of an effort by his challengers to cut him up, to portray him as ‘too liberal’ or ‘too establishment,’ Mr. Yepsen said. “Christie may well turn it into an asset, because if all the conservatives in the race are carving up each other, he would do well with a plurality of the so-called ‘establishment Republicans.’”