New Jersey: On December 10, 2012, Gov. Chris Christie announced two nominations for the New Jersey Supreme Court: Judge David F. Bauman and Robert Hanna. Bauman currently serves as a Superior Court judge for Vicinage 9 and Hanna is the President of the state's Board of Public Utilities. Earlier this year, the Governor's nominations of Phil Kwon and Bruce Harris were rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Governor emphasized diversity in his press release, stating, "Not only would Bob and David make outstanding justices, but their nominations also expand the diversity of background, strong experience and qualifications of the Court membership - a point made most clear by each man's previous, unanimous endorsement by the New Jersey Senate." Both candidates have been previously approved by the Senate for their current jobs. If confirmed, Bauman would be the first Asian-American to serve on the state's high court. Hanna is an independent and Bauman is a Republican.
Bauman, 56, moved to the U.S. from Japan as a child and became a member of the Marine Corps. He then worked in private practice for 17 years prior to his nomination to the Superior Court in 2008.
Hanna, 54, is a graduate of Fordham Law School and has a legal career spanning almost 30 years. He has worked in private practice, in the U.S. Attorney's Office and for the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety. He assumed his current role as President of the Board of Public Utilities in December of 2011.