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Friday, June 1, 2012

RINO New Jersey Judge Nominee Harris Voted Down

New Jersey Supreme Court nominee Bruce Harris was voted down in committee Thursday, killing his chance to be named to the state's highest court.

Harris was voted down 7-6 by members of the State Senate Judiciary Committee.  This is a major defeat for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was optimistic that Harris would be confirmed as early as the morning of the hearing.

I testified in opposition to his nomination, not because of his personal background (really, who cares that he's a gay black man?) but because of both his lack of courtroom experience and the presence of many, many much more capable and accomplished attorneys in the State of New Jersey.

In short, Bruce Harris is not the best man for the position.

You can hear my testimony by clicking on this link (look for the 10:00 am, May 31st State Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and load the audio; as its the full Harris hearing it can be interesting, but my testimony and subsequent questioning starts at the 3:44 mark).   

FOR REFERENCE: My prepared remarks on the Harris nomination follow:

My name is Eric Dixon.  I have been a New Jersey resident and member of our State Bar since 1996.  I am here today to speak in opposition to the nomination of Mr. Harris.  My reason is simple: his professional credentials mirror my own, and I would never purport to be qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Both Mr. Harris and I graduated from Yale Law School. He graduated in 1992.  I graduated in 1994.  Both of us became transactional attorneys.  But that's where the similarities end.  The differences in what we did with our education will show that Mr. Harris is not qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice.

During every stage of an attorney's career we have opportunities to get courtroom experience, whether it is through pro bono work or one's own business generation.  When I was a junior attorney doing public offerings and venture capital, I worked at firms which did not give me the chance to go to court; for that I had to take my own initiative.   During my career I have represented about two dozen candidates as an election lawyer – several of which I represented in court and won cases to keep them on the ballot.  I have investigated complex frauds, negotiated complex transactions and become an advocate and regular commentator on constitutional and policy issues. 

We don't hear Mr. Harris doing any of these things to develop courtroom experience or a constitutional philosophy. He is, according to my research, a cipher, saying nothing on the record on those issues. While I have more courtroom experience than Mr. Harris, I would never claim that I am prepared to be a judge, even if the Christie Administration considered me qualified. Bruce Harris is a smart and highly educated man, but he is not ready to sit on the Supreme Court.   

Other assorted coverage of the Harris hearings, my testimony and the Republicans' reaction to it:

Paul Mulshine's running blog and opinion column Thursday on NJ.com.

The Star-Ledger's running commentary, calling me out for giving the most novel opposition (see 2:13 note).



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