Recall campaigns in New Jersey
= The targeted politician resigned after a recall campaign was begun, and before the vote on the recall would have taken place.
Ridgefield: Anthony Suarez
West Wildwood: Herbert Frederick, Gerard McNamara, and Scott Golden
Point Pleasant Beach: Vincent Barrella
West New York: Silverio Vega
Perth Amboy: Wilda Diaz
Atlantic City: Lorenzo Langford
Statewide: Robert Menendez
|District of Columbia||3||1||0||0|
By Kyle Maichle
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."
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.
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.
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.
- CLICK HERE for a copy of the official ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court.
RIDGEFIELD, New Jersey: On June 15, 2010, Superior Court Judge Robert Wilson ruled that Ridgefield clerk Linda Prima had improperly invalidated a number of signatures on a petition to recall Mayor Anthony Suarez. When the improperly invalidated signatures were added back to the total of valid signatures, the judge said, there are clearly enough signatures to force a recall vote on the indicted mayor.
According to Judge Wilson, "...while some of the signatures may have been validly rejected, the Petitioner has nonetheless substantially demonstrated that they obtained the requisite 1,451 to compel a Recall Election."
Recall efforts started after Suarez and approximately 40 other New Jersey politicians were arrested in July 2009 after a federal investigation revealed evidence of corruption and money laundering. Specifically, Suarez faced charges of accepting an illegal $10,000 payment. His federal corruption trial is set to start in September 2010.
Suarez was arrested for allegedly taking bribes from Solomon Dwek. Dwek, who was in reality a federal informant, posed as a developer on the take.
By Kyle Maichle
TRENTON, New Jersey: The New Jersey Supreme Court on April 28, 2010 accepted a case filed by The Committee to Recall Robert Menendez from the Office of U.S. Senator. This means the state's highest court will determine if a member of the United States Senate can be recalled under New Jersey law.
In what will be considered the first ever major court test for the New Jersey Uniform Recall Law, the Supreme Court must decide if a article from the U.S. Constitution that exempts Senators from recall could trump state law.
The New Jersey Supreme Court wrote in its ruling accepting the case: "the Supreme Court must resolve the constitutionality of New Jersey's recall provisions now in order to avoid real harm to the state, Senator Menendez, and the citizens of New Jersey."
Oral arguments will be heard on May 25, 2010.
On January 11, 2010, Nina Mitchell Wells, a Democrat who was still the New Jersey Secretary of State at the time, issued a "final determination" letter saying that her office was refusing to accept a Notice of Intention to Recall and its accompanying Petition in the matter of the U.S. Senator Robert Menendez recall. Wells maintained that the recall provisions in the New Jersey Constitution conflict with the U.S. Constitution.
The recall action against Robert Menendez was started by members of a Tea Party group in Sussex County, New Jersey. They are seeking judicial review of the determination from Nina Wells, requesting reversal of the "final determination" and an order directing the New Jersey Secretary of State to approve the Notice of Intention so the recall group can start collecting signatures.
The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division issued a motion to accelerate the appeal on January 14, 2010.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 PolitickerNJ "High court rules against Menendez recall effort", November 18, 2010
- ↑ Associated Press, "Judge clears way for indicted mayor's recall vote", June 15, 2010
- ↑ Associated Press,"Ridgefield mayor to be target of recall petition," August 5, 2009
- ↑ Jersey Journal, "Indicted Suarez vows to stay as Ridgefield mayor", June 16, 2010
- ↑ Reuters "New Jersey court to hear case for senator's recall", April 28, 2010
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Big Government, "Is New Jersey's State Constitution Unconstitutional?"
- ↑ Order on Emergent Application in the matter of Committee to Recall Robert Menendez v. Nina Wells, Secretary of State