- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey’s Supreme Court chief justice has received a vote of confidence from attorneys’ groups around the state.

County bar associations from all 21 counties in New Jersey have signed petitions urging Gov. Chris Christie to reappoint Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, whose term is up next month.

The state bar association also wrote a letter to Christie on Wednesday supporting Rabner.

Rabner was appointed by former Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, in 2007. If reappointed, he would be able to serve until the retirement age of 70. Before serving as chief counsel to Corzine in 2006, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in Newark under Christie, who was then U.S. attorney.

Christie, a Republican, campaigned in 2009 on a pledge to remake a court he viewed as too activist. In 2010 he declined to reappoint John Wallace, the court’s only African-American member who was considered a moderate. Since then, Democrats have stalled hearings on other Christie court nominees. The court currently has two vacancies on the Supreme Court.



Christie’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment Thursday.

In his letter to Christie on Wednesday, New Jersey State Bar Association president Ralph Lamparello urged the governor to “stand firm on the singular importance of judicial independence in our society.”

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