NJ Supreme Court strikes down recall effort against U.S. Senator Menendez

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November 18, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

TRENTON, New Jersey: The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that would have allowed the recall of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.[1]

New Jersey's highest court voted 4-2 to reverse an appellate court ruling that allowed a tea party group to recall Senator Menendez over his support for national health care reform. In the ruling, the Justices stated: "the Court therefore concludes that the provisions of the (Uniform Recall Election Law) and the Recall Amendment pertaining to U.S. Senators are invalid, but otherwise will allow the laws to remain in effect as they relate to state and local officials."[1]

Former Secretary of State Nina Wells allowed the recall effort to proceed in-spite of a differing opinion from the Attorney General's office to not proceed. The Attorney General argued that New Jersey's recall law does not extend to federal officials representing the Garden State. The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in it's ruling ordered to the Secretary of State to let recall effort proceed.[1]

If the recall continued, proponents would have to receive signatures from 25 percent of New Jersey's voters. The signature requirement equates to 1.3 million registered voters needed to sign recall petitions against the Senator. There are over 5 million registered voters in the State of New Jersey.[1]

A spokesman for Senator Menendez was pleased with Supreme Court's decision, and said the ruling was: "a resounding victory against the Tea Party’s Washington-based right-wing corporate backers, who are waging economic war on the middle class." Roseann Salanitri, founder of the Sussex Tea Party and leader of Recall NJ, said that "we anticipated this decision and we are looking forward to bringing it before the US Supreme Court." Also, Salanitri told PolitickerNJ that the ruling should be a wake-up call to reform judicial selection procedures in the Garden State.[1]

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner along with Jaynee LaVecchia, Virginia Long, and Barry Albin voted in the majority. Justices Roberto Rivera-Soto and Helen Hoens dissented.[1]

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