New Jersey Municipal Judge Appointment Amendment, Question 2 (2008)

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The Municipal Judge Appointment Amendment is a legislatively-referred ballot measure that appeared on the November 4, 2008 ballot in New Jersey as a proposed amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, where it was defeated.

Election results

Public Question 2
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,181,66754.55%
Yes 984,404 45.45%

Election Results via: New Jersey Department of State

Specific Provisions

If it passed, it would have:

  • Provided that the method of selection and appointment of certain municipal court judges would be set by statute, rather than be provided for in the Constitution.
  • These judges would have been able to include judges of joint municipal courts and judges of central municipal courts with jurisdiction extending to the territorial boundaries of a county.
  • This constitutional amendment would not have precluded the possibility that a statute would continue to provide for nomination by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, but it would have permitted a statute to set forth another method of selection and appointment that may not involve the Governor and the Senate.

Currently, the constitution requires that all municipal court judges be appointed by the governor. If this amendment passes, the state legislature will be allowed to pass statutes that allow alternative methods of selecting municipal court judges. The legislature, under this change, will not be required to change the method of selection of certain local judges, but will be able to do so, by statute.[1]

Support

The Senate voted 29-3 to place the measure on the ballot.

Arguments in Support

Notable arguments in support of the measure included:

  • Appointment of municipal court judges should be a local issue. Removing the Governor’s appointment power for some municipal judges from the Constitution is the first step toward this goal.[2]
  • Removing the Governor and Senate from the appointment process will make it more likely that towns will explore consolidating municipal courts.[2]

Opponents

Arguments in Opposition

Notable arguments made in opposition to the measure included:

  • The courts in question operate as regional courts and appointment by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate ensures that the interest of the entire region is considered.[2]
  • The current process makes local politics less likely to play a part in the appointment process. The Senate Judiciary Committee and full Senate are required to vote on the appointment.[2]

External links

See also

References