TRENTON, NJ – As New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took time out of Monday’s COVID-19 daily briefing to grandstand politically about the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the Governor was non-committal when asked if he would suspend nominating state judges during his final year in office in 2021.
I’ve not seen the ad. Can I come back to you on that, and I’ve not thought about that. It’s a very good question in terms of barring judicial appointments in the last year. I have tended to be, so I don’t want to speak out of both sides of my mouth, but I was pretty clear and on the record that I thought it was a miscarriage to not hear Judge Garland’s candidacy in 2016, particularly eight months out.
Murphy lashed out a U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald J. Trump for suggesting the administration will nominate a replacement for Ginsburg and ignore her alleged dying last wish to leave that decision to the winner of the 2020 Presidential election.
When asked if he would put his money where is mouth is, Murphy waffled.
“I’d secondly say you can’t have it one way one year and a different way when frankly, the facts have not only really changed, but they’re much more acute in this case,” Murphy responded. “But it’s a good question. I’ve not given it thought and I will do that and I’ll come back to you.”
Earlier in the press conference, Murphy railed Republicans for suggesting the current administration replaces Ginsburg.
“May the posturing that has already commenced be a cautionary tale of how our national politics has careened off the rails over the past four years. The rank hypocrisy of those like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is showing. They want to ram a nominee through six weeks before a presidential election, when just four years ago they refused to offer even a hearing to a nominee whose name was put forward eight months before an election. “Let the people decide”, they screamed in 2016,” Murphy said. “But today, they’re thumbing their noses at the people in the name of a narrow political ideology. How many Senate Republicans will have the guts to stand up and demand that the process be put on hold until after the nation chooses its next president? That’s really a rhetorical question, as so few have shown any guts over the past four years. Please, God, can four of these people channel the likes of John McCain and others who went before them.”
Murphy blasted Republicans during the daily COVID-19 briefing, which has taken a turn from a daily health and safety to a daily political bully pulpit for the Governor.
“But for them, this isn’t about the nation’s future. It’s about reasoned jurisprudence. It’s a blatant power grab by those whose mission is to undo decades of civil rights progress, protect polluters over the environment, gut healthcare for millions of Americans and deny a woman the right to make her own medical and reproductive decisions. And right now, our attention and the attention of the President and Congress should be focused on the pressing issue of getting ahead of COVID-19 and ensuring a comprehensive national response and recovery,” Murphy said. “We cannot be distracted from that goal. I think I know what Justice Ginsburg’s opinion would be on the matter, and there would be no lack of Americans who would concur in that opinion. And it’s only rightful, I might add, that tomorrow is National Voter Registration Vote. So whichever side of this you’re on, get registered and get out and vote.”