The New Jersey Senate at long last confirmed New Jersey Division on Civil Rights director Rachel Wainer Apter and Superior Court Judge Doug Fasciale to seven year terms on the New Jersey Supreme Court, finally addressing the vacancy crisis on the state’s highest court.
Wainer Apter faced significant scrutiny from Republicans during her confirmation hearings about her liberal advocacy work and was approved 23-14, with no support from Republicans other than Senator Bob Singer of Lakewood. Fasciale, who is a moderate Republican, was unanimously approved.
Both Apter and Fasciale will be sworn-in on Friday, and once they have taken their seats, there will be just one seat on the seven-member New Jersey Supreme Court that is still vacant.
Wainer Apter was nominated to the court by Governor Phil Murphy back in March 2021 to succeed retiring Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, but her nomination was blocked by Republican Senator Holly Schepisi. While Wainer Apter waited for her chance to be confirmed, two more Supreme Court seats opened up when two justices, Barry Albin and Faustino Fernandez-Vina, reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Schepisi reached a deal with Gov. Murphy and Senate President Nick Scutari to allow Wainer Apter’s nomination to move forward. The seat vacated by Barry Albin has not had a replacement nomination made yet.