Chris Christie Appoints Gay Marriage Supporter to the Bench

The great conservative hope, at least according to the likes of Ann Coulter, recently appointed a gentleman named Bruce Harris to the New Jersey Supreme Court.  Harris is openly gay –  a point that Christie made sure to highlight when he introduced Harris as his nominee.  Unsurprisingly Harris is a supporter of gay marriage, and has been very vocal on this issue.   Blogger Paul Mulshine reprints an email that Harris sent to Republican legislators in the state:

As a Republican elected official and someone who has worked hard (and successfully) to get Republicans elected in Chatham Borough, it disturbs me that same-sex marriage has become a Republican versus Democrat issue (understanding there are some Democrats who do not support same-sex marriage). I was encouraged to see former Governor Christine Whitman’s op-ed piece in the Sunday, November 29, 2009 Star-Ledger supporting same-sex marriage, I hope you read her article and will seriously consider her suggestion.

You have met me and my partner of nearly 30 years, Marc, on more than one occasion at various political gatherings. The New Jersey Supreme court has determined that our relationship is entitled to the equal protection guarantees of the State Constitution. The New jersey Civil Union Review Commission determined that civil unions do not provide the equality the State Constitution mandates.(Please take a few moments and visit www.gardenstateequality.org. which has two short videos that provide sad examples of the failures of the civil union law.)

When I hear someone say that they believe marriage is only between a man and a woman because that’s the way it’s always been, I think of the many “traditions” that deprived people of their civil rights for centuries: prohibitions on interracial marriage, slavery, (which is even provided for in the Bible), segregation, the subservience of women, to name just a few of these “traditions.”

I hope that you consider my request that you re-evaluate your position and, if after viewing the videos, reading Governor Whitman’s letter and thinking again about this issue of civil rights you still oppose same-sex marriage on grounds other than religion I would appreciate it if you you’d explain your position to me. And, if the basis of your opposition is religious, then I suggest that you do what the US Constitution mandates – and that is to maintain a separation between the state and religion.

Surely Chris Christie knew of this.

That led me to ask the obvious question at a press conference Wednesday: Did Christie know how Harris stood on Lewis v. Harris?

Christie said of Harris and his other nominee, Phillip Kwon of Bergen County, “I did not ask them about specific cases.” He pointed to two other cases of concern to conservatives, the Abbott school-funding decisions and the Mount Laurel decisions on affordable housing, and said “to the extent that they’ve taken positions on those issues, they’re going to have to let us know that.”

The governor sure did his due diligence in this important duty, didn’t he?

Of course this brings out the band of merry GOP apologists, such as this commenter at NRO.

Good grief, throwing Christie under the bus ALREADY? He’s not even to the Greyhound station yet.

Is there anyone who in your view IS pure enough to be a Republican president? Talk about making perfection the enemy of the good ….

So now it a sign that you’re some fire-breathing purist to expect a Chief Executive to actually do his research before making critical appointments.  Supreme Court appointments – be they federal or state – have long-lasting impact well beyond the life of a governor.  Judicial appointments are among the three or four most important job functions of any president or governor.  Even if Harris recuses himself from any matters pertaining to gay marriage, it is clear from this email that he is not what you’d call a sparkling originalist.  As such, Chris Christie has failed in this vital aspect.

Unfortunately we have so lowered the bar of expectations that some will just overlook this minor inconvenience.  After all, Governor Soundbite has so many cool Youtube clips of him berating his constituents, and as this entire election season has proven, bluster is a lot more impressive than actual accomplishments.

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