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judge robe - Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

In a recent (May 6, 2019) NJLJ op-ed article, a lawyer noted that he “heard that demographic characteristics influence judicial nominations.” He further explained that “most judicial nominations derive from political connections” and that they are “reinforced by political contributions.” He cites a 2017 article by state Sen. Kevin O’Toole as his source. He complains that the process permits substandard attorneys to ascend to the bench, and he suggests a qualifying test to assess the applicant’s knowledge of the law, intellect and preparedness. This somewhat jaded view of the appointment process requires a brief answer from this board, which has several former members of the judiciary and practitioners intimately aware of the appointment process.

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