- Associated Press - Friday, April 11, 2014

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Bar Association is calling for a change to the state constitution that would make it harder for the governor to oust judges.

The lawyers’ group has been making a major push on judicial independence, saying Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrat-controlled state Legislature are threatening it. Christie has declined to re-nominate two state Supreme Court justices after their initial seven years on the job, something no other governor has done.

The proposed amendment announced Friday would spell out that judges must be reappointed after their initial seven-year terms unless they “demonstrated unfitness” to serve.

Reappointed judges can serve until they turn 70.

The amendment was suggested by retired state Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein.

It would need legislative approval to go on the ballot.

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