Once again showing that he means to shake up Trenton, Gov. Christopher J. Christie declined on Monday to reappoint a sitting justice to the New Jersey Supreme Court, instead appointing someone who he said would show the restraint that was missing from the court.
The justice, John E. Wallace Jr., became the first one to seek reappointment and be refused by a New Jersey governor since the current State Constitution was adopted 63 years ago.
Justice Wallace’s departure also means that for the first time in 16 years, the court will not have a black justice. If confirmed by the State Senate, Mr. Christie’s appointment of Anne M. Patterson, a Morris County lawyer, will give the court its first female majority.
Speaking to reporters in Trenton, Mr. Christie had only kind words for Justice Wallace, but he described the historically liberal court as “out of control” over the last three decades, usurping the roles of the governor and the Legislature in setting social and tax policies.