Governor Chris Christie today announced a bipartisan agreement on two nominations to the New Jersey Supreme Court, including the reappointment of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner for tenure on the court and for the nomination of Superior Court Judge Lee Solomon to the position of Associate Justice. The Governor was joined by Senate President Sweeney in announcing the agreement, which breaks the current impasse over nominations and moves the Supreme Court an important step in the direction of a fully constituted membership of duly nominated and confirmed gubernatorial appointments. The nominations of Justice Rabner and Judge Solomon will receive speedy confirmation hearings and an up-or-down vote of the full Senate.
In Judge Lee Solomon, Governor Christie has selected an exceptionally qualified and dedicated public servant with an accomplished career in law, government, and the judiciary for nomination to the position of Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Over the course of his years in public service, the Senate has found Judge Solomon to be indisputably qualified for serving in the highest positions of government. For each of the positions he was nominated, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate voted to approve Judge Solomon unanimously, with individual members giving praise to his qualifications.
“Judge Solomon will bring to the Court unquestioned qualifications, a depth of experience in public service, and knowledge in policy matters touching on issues across the state. I have known Lee for many years as a person of integrity and who is universally well respected for his independence and temperament throughout his long history of serving the people of our state,” said Governor Christie. “I’m pleased that we are able to come together in a bipartisan way to once again show the people of New Jersey that their leaders put getting the job done ahead of politics. I’m equally honored that both Chief Justice Rabner and Judge Solomon have agreed to continue their service to the people of our state on our highest court.”
Judge Lee Solomon, 59, a lawyer with over 30 years of legal experience, currently serves as the Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County. Solomon’s nomination to the Superior Court was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and full Senate in December 2011. For the two years prior to that, he served as President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
Prior to his appointment as BPU President, Judge Solomon served as a Camden County Superior Court Judge. He was appointed by Acting Governor, Senate President, Richard J. Codey, confirmed by the Senate, and sworn in as a member of the Court on January 13, 2006. He began in the Family Division before being assigned to the Criminal Division. Previously, Judge Solomon served as the Deputy United States Attorney for the Southern Vicinages, District of New Jersey. There he led the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Camden and Trenton. The office handled approximately 950 cases per year.
Judge Solomon also served five years as the Camden County Prosecutor and one year as Acting Prosecutor. He directed an office with a staff of more than 260 and the State’s third largest caseload. During that time, Judge Solomon served on the Board of the National District Attorneys Association and as Chairperson of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Advisory Council. In November of 1998, the New Jersey Attorney General appointed Judge Solomon as the Monitor of the Camden City Police Department. He then reorganized the 390 member force and continued its supervision until leaving the post of Camden County Prosecutor.
Before his prosecutorial appointment, Judge Solomon served five years in the New Jersey General Assembly. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Environmental Quality Committee and as a member of the Assembly Policy & Rules Committee. In addition, Lee served as Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Law and Public Safety Committee, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and received his law degree from Widener University School of Law, where he served as an External Articles Editor and member of the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law.
Both nominations for Chief Justice Rabner and Judge Solomon will be filed with the New Jersey Senate in a timely manner and are subject to Senate confirmation.