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New Jersey Supreme Court Elections and Tenure Amendment (2014)

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A New Jersey Supreme Court Elections and Tenure Amendment did not make the November 4, 2014 ballot in New Jersey as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. At least two measure that would have affected the state supreme court selection and tenure processes were proposed in the 2014 legislative session. Senate Concurrent Resolution 15, which was sponsored by Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-39) and Sen. Steven Oroho, would have abolished tenure for state supreme court justices and established retention elections as part of the reappointment process.[1] Assembly Concurrent Resolution 47, which was sponsored by Assemblyman John DiMaio (R-23) and Assemblyman Parker Space (R-24), would have provided for five-year terms for state supreme court justices. It would have also provided for justices to receive tenure by being reappointed and the tenure being approved by voters.[2]

Both measures would have amended Article VI, Section VI, paragraph 3 of the New Jersey Constitution, as well as added a new section, Section IX, to Article VI.


See also: New Jersey Supreme Court

As of the proposal of these amendments, the New Jersey Supreme Court consisted of seven justices, one of which was the court's Chief Justice. Justices of the court were nominated by the governor. One week after the public notice issued by the governor, the nominees were required to pass the "advice and consent" of the senate. After seven years of service, the governor could then then determine whether to tenure the justice.


SCR 15 supporters

ACR 47 supporters

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the New Jersey Constitution

At the time in New Jersey, proposed constitutional amendments had two ways of achieving ballot access. The New Jersey Legislature could either qualify it with supermajority approval of 60 percent in one legislative session or with simple majorities in two successive sessions. This measure did not receive the necessary supermajority required for a 2014 ballot placement. SCR 15 was introduced on January 14, 2014, and was referred to the Judiciary Committee.[3] ACR 47 was introduced on January 16, 2014, and was referred to the Judiciary Committee.[4]

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