New Jersey State Senator Kevin O’Toole, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement concerning the nominations of Phil Kwan and Bruce Harris as Associate Justices on the New Jersey Supreme Court:
“Governor Christie’s monumental decision today to nominate Phil Kwan and Bruce Harris to be Associate Justices of the Supreme Court highlights his desire to ensure that our State’s highest court not only be a model of diversity for the country but also have a compliment of the best and brightest legal minds our State has to offer,” said O’Toole.
Mr. Harris has degrees from Yale Law School, an MBA from the Boston University School of Management he is a graduate of Amherst College. His work experience includes AT&T, Riker, Danzig and Greenberg Traurig. Mr. Harris has been an active member of his community as a member of the Chatham Borough Governing Body, the Chatham Environmental Commission, the Chatham Historic Preservation Commission, as a Trustee of the UMDNJ Foundation and New Jersey Health Foundation, and The Eric Johnson House.
Mr. Kwan received his undergraduate degree in from Georgetown University and his law degree in from Rutgers University School of Law in Newark. He currently serves as First Assistant Attorney General of New Jersey. He was previously an assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey where he was Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, the Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit. Among the many cases Mr. Kwan tried, he prosecuted some of the most violent gangs in our state, the Bloods, the Crips, and the Latin Kings.
“Diversity for the sake of diversity is not a qualification to serve on the Supreme Court, however, being leaders in the legal community, as these two individuals are, with their vast experience in public and private sector law certainly does make them the best qualified candidates for New Jersey’s Supreme Court.”
“The historical impact of these nominees aside, I am fully confident that Mr. Harris and Mr. Kwan will bring their wealth of legal expertise and tremendous qualifications to the Supreme Court. These individuals have been leaders in their profession and their intellect will further show case our Supreme Court throughout the country as a model to emulate,” O’Toole concluded.