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NJ Chips Away at Problem of Judge Shortage

June 29, 2023 |

Photo Credit: University of Penn Undergraduate Law Journal

Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) said he may call a special session next month to consider more Superior Court nominees. Lawmakers usually break for the summer once a state budget is approved and so far no date has been set for any meetings to consider nominees. If Scutari, does bring senators back, they still won’t be able to fill all the judicial vacancies. There are currently only 13 nominees pending in the Senate — some of whom have been held up for months by lawmakers’ disagreements — and another five to be officially nominated this week. But there are 53 current open seats statewide and another nine judges are expected to retire or resign by Sept. 1. That brings the number of vacancies up to 62 if there is no summer session to confirm more.

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NJ SEED: Despite critics who blame the shortage of judges on Senatorial Courtesy only a handful of nominations are being held up by that longstanding unwritten rule. The number of judges needed exceeds 50.

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