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National Review: Bob Vander Plaats, an influential social-conservative leader in Iowa, tells National Review Online that the move doesn’t do any favors for Christie’s potential 2016 presidential run.
Christian Post: The decision was criticized by a number of conservative groups, with Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom saying: “Marriage – the union of husband and wife – is timeless, universal, and special, particularly because children need a mother and a father.”
USA Today: Hours after same-sex couples lined up Monday across the state to marry, Gov. Chris Christie dropped his administration’s efforts to end gay marriage.
NJ Senator Doherty on marriage: Christie acquiesced to judicial activism, no vote by the people or legislature
Lehigh Valley: “As a member of the Legislature, I am disappointed that same-sex marriage is apparently now the law of New Jersey despite neither the enactment of legislation nor a vote of the people to amend our state constitution,” Doherty, a Republican whose 23rd District covers parts of Warren and Hunterdon counties, said in a statement.
CNN: Senator-elect Cory Booker will move forward with his support of same-sex marriage, with plans to grant the marriages of several same-sex couples 12:01 a.m. Monday after a court ruling goes into effect.
NJ Star Ledger: In a rare break in the ongoing war between Gov. Chris Christie and Senate Democrats over court appointments, the upper house’s judiciary committee today approved the Republican governor’s latest nominee to the state Supreme Court. Superior Court Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina faced dozens of sharp-edged questions from Democrats during a two-and-a-half hour hearing in Trenton, but was also praised for his serene demeanor.
Tom Strode at Baptist Press: Judges and legislators are preparing to determine the definition of legal marriage in a variety of states. Whether same-sex unions should be recognized as marriages soon will be weighed by government officials in New Jersey, New Mexico, Hawaii and Michigan.
The Hill: Newark Mayor Cory Booker won the New Jersey Senate special election on Wednesday night in an unsurprising finale to a surprisingly contentious race. With nearly all precincts reporting, Booker had 55 percent of the vote to Lonegan’s 44 percent, The Associated Press reported.
Christian Post: Samuel Johnson famously declared, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” In our day, we might say, “The child is the last refuge of a politician.”
Matthew J. Frank at Public Discourse: A New Jersey judge’s contorted and nonsensical decision that the state is responsible for the federal government’s failure to recognize same-sex marriage highlights the irrationality that permeates the campaign for “marriage equality.”
NJ Star Ledger: Barring a court intervention, New Jersey is mere days from the peals of long-silenced wedding bells for gay marriage. Last week, a judge ruled for the second time that same-sex couples can marry — for real, this time — beginning a week from tomorrow. And once again, Gov. Chris Christie wants to block the path to the altar.
NJ.com: The judge who declared same-sex marriage legal in New Jersey was raised a Catholic in Bayonne, a place where the locals still use their church — not their neighborhood — to define where they’re from.
Kim Trobee at Citizen Link:Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, explained that same-sex couples in the state currently receive all the same benefits and legal rights as married couples under the civil union law . . . “We’re very concerned about the decision and we believe the judge is ruling from the bench. This is judicial activism. It’s hubris.”
AP: The state’s highest court on Friday agreed to hear a case on whether gay marriage should be legal and whether same-sex weddings can be performed while it decides. | Lambda Legal press release and link to the order.
ABC (AP): A state judge on Thursday refused to delay her order that New Jersey grant marriage licenses for same-sex couples starting Oct. 21.
NJ.com: Nearly two-thirds of registered voters in New Jersey approve of a decision by a Superior Court judge to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released today.
NJ.com: “Listen: Lots of different people have different views on this,” Christie responded. “I think marriage should be between a man and a woman. “My view is: If you want to change it, put it on the ballot,” he continued. “Let everybody decide. It shouldn’t be decided by courts, it shouldn’t be decided by politicians in Trenton. It should be decided by everybody. If the majority of the people of New Jersey want same-sex marriage, I’ll enforce the law.”
AP: New Jersey residents and visitors will be able to start gambling online on Nov. 26, after a five-day trial period to make sure the systems operated by the city’s 12 casinos work properly.
Religion Clause Blog: In Al Falah Center v. City of Bridgewater, (D NJ, Sept. 30, 2013), a New Jersey federal district issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a zoning law change enacted quickly after a Muslim group applied for a permit to construct a mosque on land it had acquired.
PolitickerNJ.com: Assemblyman Chris A. Brown said during a Wednesday evening legislative debate he would vote to override the Republican governor’s veto. Brown’s announcement marks the first time during the lead up to an override vote that a lawmaker who voted against the same-sex marriage bill last year publically announced they would change their vote.
CBS: Opponents of gay marriage in New Jersey are banding together in hopes of reviving an idea to put the question to voters in the form of a constitutional amendment.
AP: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration on Tuesday asked a judge to delay implementation of her order that the state allow gay marriage until an appeal can be decided . . .
Bloomberg BusinessWeek: After then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown and his successor, Kamala Harris, both Democrats, refused to defend Proposition 8, the initiative banning gay marriage in that state, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom took the case. The Supreme Court ruled its client, a group that sponsored the proposition, couldn’t stand in for the state, because it hadn’t suffered a particular injury. [also posted at Newsmax]
AP: Gov. Chris Christie’s administration on Monday asked New Jersey’s top state court to take an appeal of a judge’s ruling that the state must allow gay marriage.
Reuters: Leaders of the Democratic-controlled New Jersey State Senate on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to uphold a ruling by a lower state court late last week allowing same sex marriage.
NJ.com: Currently, New Jersey allows only civil unions, and Christie has said voters should decide whether to legalize gay marriage in a referendum. Where do you stand? Vote in the poll above.
NJ.com: Advocates have been working to convince state lawmakers — including a number of Republicans — that they should cross Gov. Chris Christie and override his veto of a bill (S1) that would legalize same-sex marriage. The state currently allows civil unions, and Christie maintains same-sex marriage should be decided by a voter referendum.
Breitbart: Vince Sicari can tell all the lawyer jokes he wants — he just can’t play a judge in real life. The New Jersey municipal judge, who is also an established stand-up comedian and actor, resigned Thursday after the state Supreme Court ruled he can’t moonlight as an entertainer.
UPI.com: The plaintiff, Laura Federico, names Rutgers University and Jacquelyn Litt, the dean of Douglass Residential College, as defendants, the Home News Tribune of East Brunswick reported Monday. Federico, who says she was open about her orientation while working at Rutgers, charges that Litt “felt that women who had men behind them were stronger and better employees.”
Religion Clause Blog: For example, the Board required that there be no outdoor celebratory activity. In 554 Queen Anne Road, Inc. v. Teaneck Board of Adjustment, (NJ Super. Ct., Aug. 23, 2013), the court held . . .
NJ.com: A group of prominent advocates is attempting to persuade Republicans and a handful of reluctant Democrats in the Legislature to help override Gov. Chris Christie’s 2012 veto of a same-sex marriage bill before the current term expires in January 2014.
LifeNews: While things are heating up in one state (New Jersey), Vermont’s newly enacted law is receiving a great deal of pushback.
NJ.com: State Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens may have been in line for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it wouldn’t have been a fair one leading to her reappointment, Gov. Chris Christie said today.
NorthJersey.com: Republican lawmakers counting on Governor Christie’s coattails to carry them to another term this fall will face pressure from a deep-pocketed, coordinated campaign to break ranks with Christie over the issue of same-sex marriage.
Fay Voshell at American Thinker: Conversion Therapy Law Threatens Christians
Religion Clause Blog: In Webster v. Dolgencorp, LLC, (D NJ, Aug. 22, 2013), a New Jersey federal district court permitted a Seventh Day Adventist who sued complaining that his Dollar General Store employer refused to accommodate his refusal to work on Saturdays to proceed on his claims for breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
ACLJ: This time the target is a planned 9-11 memorial in Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton Deputy Fire Chief Roy James got the idea a couple of years ago and was able to acquire from the Port Authority part of an iron beam from the ruins of the World Trade Center.
RT.com: The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has reversed its decision to deny an application for a customized license plate that says “ATHE1ST”, claiming that a clerk exceeded her authority by calling it offensive.
Bloomberg: Schochet, who said he worked as a portfolio manager at Citadel Investment Group Inc. and Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG) and once earned $1 million a year, has been jailed for missing court-ordered payments at least eight times in the past two years as he coped with the end of his 17-year marriage.
Liberty Counsel: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie torpedoed any chance at the White House when he used junk science to legitimize his politically motivated attack on children, families, and licensed therapists this week.
Matt Barber at World Net Daily: Things get more sinister yet. On Wednesday, New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace, who sponsored the bill and is openly homosexual, bombastically compared change therapy to “beating a child” and suggested that the government take children seeking change away from their parents. He told Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, “What this does is prevent things that are harmful to people. If a parent were beating their child on a regular basis we would step in and remove that child from the house. If you pay somebody to beat your child or abuse your child, what’s the difference?”
NJ.com: Gov. Chris Christie’s newest nominee to the state Supreme Court can expect to get a hearing in the state Senate, though no date has been set, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said today.
Gov. Christie Harms New Jersey Children By Signing Change Therapy Ban. Liberty Counsel Will File Suit.
Liberty Counsel: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to sign A3371 today, barring licensed therapists from helping children overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or identity. This law will prohibit minors and their parents from receiving counseling they desire and will force counselors to violate ethical codes because they will not be able to help clients reach their own counseling goals. Liberty Counsel will file suit seeking to block this law.
Bloomberg: Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson heard arguments in Trenton today and said she probably won’t rule until September in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 26 that struck down a federal law denying benefits to same-sex married couples.
AP: Lawyers for gay couples and New Jersey’s government laid out their cases to a judge Thursday on whether she should order the state to legalize same-sex marriage in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the matter.
NJ.com: Gov. Chris Christie said today he will not renominate New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens because he expected legislative Democrats would have kept her in limbo or blocked her altogether. In a surprise move, Christie appointed Camden County Superior Court Assignment Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina to replace Hoens.
AP: A federal judge has dealt a setback to a New Jersey law that would hold Internet providers liable for content sent over their services.
Nathaniel Frank at Slate: Christie’s brief defends civil unions in three ways. First, it argues that the state can rationally restrict the label “marriage” to heterosexual unions because it is “preserving” the definition of the word. Second, it contends that it’s actually the feds who are now blocking gay equality by withholding benefits to civil union partners. And third, it claims that the state courts should move very cautiously when contemplating a major change in social institutions—all fine and well except that, as the state itself admits, calling a gay union a marriage isn’t much of a change anymore.
AP: A New Jersey judge should not rush into allowing same-sex marriage in the state without carefully considering quickly changing legal issues, lawyers for the state government said in a court filing Friday.
AP: Lawyers for New Jersey are expected to defend the state’s civil unions for same-sex couples as opposed to gay marriage.
AP: Princeton officials are consulting lawyers as they wrestle with a 9/11 memorial featuring a World Trade Center beam that includes a hole cut in the shape of a cross.
MSN: Two Internet groups are suing to block a New Jersey law concerning online ads for underage sex workers, saying libraries and other third-party service providers could be at risk of prosecution.
NBC: “The answer is to win more states, win a critical mass of states, and a critical mass of public support, which creates a climate that encourages the court to do its job,” said Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry, a pro-gay-marriage group.
AP: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling erasing part of a federal anti-gay marriage law was a “bad decision” and an example of “judicial supremacy.”
Fed-Soc Blog: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals grilled attorneys on both sides of the New Jersey sports betting case for an hour in Philadelphia on Wednesday, then told the lawyers the case “would be taken under advisement” with no timetable given for a decision.
Lambda Legal: “The demise of DOMA Section 3 marks a turning point in how the federal government treats the relationships of married same-sex couples for federal programs. In New Jersey, where same-sex couples are in civil unions or may have been married in other states, but are barred from marriage at home, this is a game-changer.”
Asbury Park Press: Deep within Monday’s Rutgers-Eagleton poll numbers breaking down New Jerseyans’ support for same-sex marriage, was an interesting tidbit. Among the Catholics polled, 57 percent said they would vote for legalization of same-sex marriage, and among Protestants, those for and against gay marriage were nearly dead even.
American Federation for Children: The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, today criticized the New Jersey Education Commissioner Chris Cerf for depriving students of vital educational options by refusing to authorize two virtual new charter schools. Both charter schools had received conditional approval and spent a year ensuring they met every requirement, only to have Cerf deny their approval.
Fox News: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has named state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to temporarily fill the U.S. Senate seat that opened up this week after Frank Lautenberg’s death. | Official Bio for Chiesa | Wikipedia Entry for Chiesa
AP: As candidates start lining up to run for the U.S. Senate seat that opened when Frank Lautenberg died Monday, Gov. Chris Christie appeared poised Thursday to name someone to fill the office temporarily.
Asbury Park Press: Beth Sarre of Neptune said she and her husband, Greg, face nearly $20,000 in tuition costs for their son, who is starting his junior year at St. Rose in Belmar, and for their daughter, a student at St. Rose Grammar School.
National Journal: The New Jersey governor’s decision to hold the Senate race in October 2013 means it will be difficult for the GOP to contest the seat.
NRO: “This is what really rankles conservatives,” Armey said on CNN this afternoon. “I put it down as debilitating stupidity because the first rule of politics is ‘don’t lose the friends you already have for the friends you’re never going to get.’”
The Atlantic Wire: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can name a successor for Frank Lautenberg, who died at the age of 89 on Monday, becoming the 299th Senator to pass away in office. But it’s yet another moment when what’s good for Christie in 2013 might not be good for him in 2016.
NorthJersey.com: The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey filed a public records request on Thursday demanding the disclosure of guidelines that the Christie administration followed when it granted $11 million to two religious schools, almost all of it to an orthodox Jewish rabbinical school.
FoxNews: New Jersey invoked eminent domain to grab the land for a highway project, and offered the Catholic diocese in Camden $1.9 million, even though church officials say the 6-acre parcel is worth ten times that figure.
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday’s Newark Star-Ledger reports that in New Jersey, some Democrats are questioning the inclusion of a large, all-male Orthodox Jewish rabbinical school among the institutions of higher education that will participate in the $1.3 billion of state financing for construction at New Jersey colleges and universities.