Christie: No Conservative and Proud of It
Anyone who’s made the mistake of thinking tough-guy New Jersey governor Chris Christie is a Conservative only has to look at three things: his nomination of a Muslim to the top New Jersey court, followed by yesterday’s nomination of an openly-gay (albeit Republican) African-American and a South Korean immigrant to the bench, and his support of notoriously Big Government, moderate presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
His appointment of an African-American should hardly bat an eye. Why should it? The appointment of the South Korean, Phillip H. Kwon, may or may not be a plus in the Conservative column, depending on whether he shares the generally Conservative views of New Jersey’s Korean community.
The appointment of an openly-gay justice is problematic, the emphasis being on “openly-gay”. Does that phrase translate into “activist justice”? The issue of gay marriage is coming up before the state’s Democrat senate. Christie stated that he had not asked the justices about any of their views before appointing them. In the past, he has criticized the state’s Supreme Court for being too liberal.
Neither candidate, however, has had experience as a judge, which is probably more problematic than their social or political views. Harris, 61, is the Republican mayor of Chatham Borough in Morris County, a post Christie said he would give up if confirmed. He would be the third African-American to be seated on the court. Kwon, 44, works in the attorney general's Office and lives in Closter in Bergen County. He is not officially affiliated with either major political party.
Not all gay people are in favor gay marriage. For all we know, Justice Bruce A. Harris is not one of those. Six openly gay justices sit on state Supreme Courts nationwide. The current New Jersey court is made up of five women and two men, all white.
Fox News reports that “New Jersey has one of the highest percentages of foreign-born residents in the nation, with about one of five residents being born outside the country, according to the U.S. Census. And Census figures show 15.8 percent of New Jersey residents identify themselves as at least partially black or African-American; 9 percent say they are at least partially Asian.
“New Jersey’s gay marriage bill was defeated two years ago, but the Democratic Senate president, who didn't vote then, has had a change of heart and is now sponsoring the legislation, carrying several votes with him. Christie, who does not support gay marriage, has said he would look at the bill if it reaches his desk. A parallel lawsuit filed by several same-sex couples and their children claim the state’s civil unions law, which confers the benefits of marriage but not the title, is unjust. That case is likely to be decided by the Supreme Court.”
Christie is no Conservative; but in the past, he’s been no Liberal, either. Let us hope the governor has not had the same change of heart, or that he takes a belligerent stand in favor of something that, in the past, he knew was wrong, just to stick it to the Conservative side.