Last March, Gov. Murphy nominated Rachel Wainer Apter of Englewood, Director of the Division of Civil Rights, to replace retiring Associate Justice Jaynee LaVecchia on our Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not held hearings on the Apter nomination. Reportedly, two senators from her home county of Bergen, invoking the custom of senatorial courtesy, have not yet consented to the nomination for reasons that seem good to them.
Justice LaVecchia had planned to step down at the end of the court’s August term. To avoid the consequences of a vacancy on the court, she has consented at the chief justice’s request to defer her personal plans and remain in office until the end of the calendar year. This imposition should not have been necessary.