The Corner

Is This the Kind of Judge a President Christie Would Nominate?

There’s a brouhaha brewing in New Jersey over Gov. Chris Christie’s nomination to the New Jersey Supreme Court of Bruce Harris. Turns out Harris wrote a letter in 2009 supporting gay marriage — and equating support for our marriage tradition with slavery.

Bruce Harris wrote this in a 2009 e-mail to State Senator Joe Pennacchio:

When I hear someone say that they believe marriage is only between a man and a woman because that’s the way it’s always been, I think of the many “traditions” that deprived people of their civil rights for centuries: prohibitions on interracial marriage, slavery, (which is even provided for in the Bible), segregation, the subservience of women, to name just a few of these “traditions.”

I hope that you consider my request that you re-evaluate your position and, if after viewing the videos, reading Governor Whitman’s letter and thinking again about this issue of civil rights you still oppose same-sex marriage on grounds other than religion I would appreciate it if you you’d explain your position to me. And, if the basis of your opposition is religious, then I suggest that you do what the US Constitution mandates — and that is to maintain a separation between the state and religion.

When the assemblyman charged with vetting judicial nominees was sent a copy of this intemperate email, he responded: “Yikes.”

This is a potentially huge red flag for those who see Christie as the future of the conservative movement. Can he be trusted to care enough to appoint judicial conservatives? Will Governor Christie stand by this kind of judicial appointment, or will he admit that mistakes were made in the vetting process and withdraw the nomination?

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