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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Forecasting a Governor Christie

Unlike a third term for Mayor Bloomberg in New York City, or a second term if Jon Corzine had been re-elected, a new administration always has the promise of change, which is almost always interesting if not necessary effective.

At least under a new Governor Christie the Crime, Politics and Policy blog will have much more material.

Crime, Politics and Policy raised serious concerns about candidate Christie being disquietingly quiet regarding his plans for the Attorney General's office. I am sure he has concrete plans...he just did not share them with the electorate pre-election day. Here he has the opportunity to use that office as an advocate, to shape affairs through its investigative and prosecutorial powers. There is a lot of potential here -- and also (as pointed out here) the potential for abuse. He should use it, but wisely.

As Crime, Politics and Policy detailed, some of his 88 proposals for improving the state had alarming legal implications. Certainly some of those proposals would, if enacted, interfere with an activist Attorney General's office. These proposals are just very wrong, misguided and potentially very anti-victim and even very anti-business.

There is one recent law Christie should seek to repeal immediately. I refer to the law just signed weeks ago by Corzine (and blasted here by Crime, Politics and Policy) authorizing the State of New Jersey to create and maintain a registry of all handicapped children, while mandating that doctors report all disability diagnoses to the state. The existence of such a database poses a direct and serious risk of privacy loss to these children, while imposing an additional reporting burden on doctors which is sure to encourage over-diagnosing (and over-medication) of children (!!!) by an already risk-averse profession.    Just think of the diagnoses of disabilities we will see from doctors who will be terrified of making a mistake or of running afoul of the law.  

Finally, I encourage Christie to look outside the box when it comes to judicial appointments. My advice is simple: process is more important than outcome. This means picking judges who value the process and the integrity role of procedure in our system of justice, rather than choosing judges on the basis of issue positions.   Selecting judges based upon rigid ideological litmus tests, whether they be applied by the "right wing" or "left wing" or the "know nothings," is sure to produce disaster.


  1. just put kim in the state Ag position.

  2. Great idea. We'll save money by consolidating government. The better to chop down that $8 billion budget.

    (PS I thought Milgram did a fine job, so did her predecessor Samson.)

    Didn't I say a Christie administration would be interesting?