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New Jersey’s largest group of legal professionals further stated that Rabner has “unquestionably demonstrated the knowledge and decorum to serve, and has, in fact, served on the Supreme Court with distinction” since he was nominated by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and confirmed in June 2007.
Although Christie has not indicated if he will renominate Rabner, he also has not said if he will remove him. However, Christie has expressed a desire to reshape the high court. In a video released by Lambda Legal as part of its campaign to have Rabner renominated, news clips show Christie criticizing the “liberal activist court.” And as The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart wrote in October, removing Rabner from the court could throw some red meat to social conservatives who criticized his decision to cease his legal fight over same-sex marriage, despite the fact that Christie vetoed marriage-equality legislation in February 2012. Christie soared to reelection in November with 60 percent of the vote in the predominately blue state, but has seen his approval rating drop severely following the George Washington Bridge scandal.
Christie has also lashed out at Rabner before. In July 2013, Christie blasted Rabner’s “activist opinion” to rule against efforts to disband New Jersey’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), voicing arguments mirroring those often used by same-sex marriage opponents against “activist judges.”
Accusing “this liberal Supreme Court” of ignoring elected lawmakers and continuing to “blindly perpetuate its failed social experiment in housing,” Christie made what could easily be construed as a threat: “This only steels my determination to continue to fight to bring common sense back to New Jersey’s judiciary.”