May 9, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - When Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) opened a speech to Pennsylvania political insiders in late April, he pointed to his record of bipartisan cooperation with Sen. Robert P. Casey (D., Pa.) in advancing judges nominated by President Obama. But Democrats and their liberal allies accused Toomey this week of quietly creating trouble for a Philadelphia nominee he had publicly praised. Toomey rejected the allegation, saying he still supported Luis Felipe Restrepo, a District Court judge, for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, based in Philadelphia.
February 26, 2015 |
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday narrowly approved Gov. Christie's nomination of Robert Barr to serve on the Pinelands Commission. Barr, secretary of the Cape May County Democratic Committee, has been opposed by most state conservation and environmental organizations, which see him as a likely yes vote if South Jersey Gas seeks another waiver to build a controversial pipeline through the protected Pinelands. Jaclyn Rhoades, assistant director of the advocacy group Pinelands Preservation Alliance, said it appeared the vote on Barr's nomination was scheduled for Tuesday because Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D., Union)
October 16, 2014 |
As the state Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to hold hearings on Gov. Christie's two nominees to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, environmental groups are asking Senate leaders to put the appointments on hold. The heads of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and the New Jersey Sierra Club allege that Christie is seeking to "stack" the commission with members inclined to approve a controversial gas pipeline through protected Pinelands forest. "We want to make sure the commission is not manipulated into reversing the decision it made in January," Carleton Montgomery, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, said Tuesday.
September 4, 2014 |
For more than a year, John Hoffman has led the state Attorney General's Office, though technically, he is not the attorney general. Hoffman, the acting attorney general, is not alone in that circumstance. Four of Gov. Christie's 23 cabinet posts - including the heads of the Departments of Transportation and Education, and the Office of the State Comptroller - are held by administrators who have not been confirmed by the Senate. That is not unprecedented. About 30 officials have held acting cabinet posts over the last 20 years, dating to Christie Whitman's administration.
July 2, 2014 |
TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers passed legislation Monday that would limit the duration of alimony payments, a move some advocates said would make divorce fairer. Under the measure, alimony could not exceed the length of a marriage that lasted less than 20 years, except in certain cases. Also, alimony would terminate when the payer reaches full retirement age, which is 67 under federal law. The bill would not be retroactive to existing divorce orders or agreements. About 98 percent of divorce cases are settled in New Jersey, so these changes would affect only the contested cases, Jeralyn L. Lawrence, chairwoman of the New Jersey Bar Association's family law section, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.
June 18, 2014 |
TRENTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday approved Gov. Christie's two nominees - one a Democrat, the other a Republican - to the state Supreme Court, advancing with little dissent a deal brokered by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester). The deal will likely keep Democratic Chief Justice Stuart Rabner on the court, while adding to the bench Camden County Republican Lee Solomon, a state court judge who has ties to Christie and has been praised by Democrats. The full Senate is expected to decide Thursday on the nominations of Rabner and Solomon, who cleared the Judiciary Committee by votes of 11-2 for Rabner and 12-1 for Solomon.
April 21, 2014 |
So much for a done deal. Builders' associations and Pennsylvania's labor lobby may have thought their fight was over regarding a bill that would rewrite state law concerning stalking and harassment in labor disputes. But state House Republicans are now threatening to throw a hurdle in front of the measure's once seemingly sure path to the governor's desk. Their concerns over changes to the bill made in the state Senate are likely to delay efforts to end a quirk in Pennsylvania law brought to light by the arrest of top leaders of a Philadelphia ironworkers' union on federal racketeering charges this year.
April 11, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - A former U.S. Justice Department official warned at a Senate hearing here Wednesday that the $45.2 billion merger of Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. would lead to a dangerously large corporation with "massive tentacles" in the pay-TV and Internet industries. Comcast executive David Cohen, who was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, countered that "consumers will be big winners in this transaction. " A three-hour, sometimes tense hearing revealed deep skepticism among Democratic senators about the proposed merger of the nation's largest and second-largest cable-TV operators.
April 9, 2014 |
SOON ENOUGH, people involved in a labor dispute will no longer be allowed to stalk, harass or threaten another person in the dispute with weapons of mass destruction. Currently, under the Pennsylvania crime code, such activities are permitted. House Bill 1154, sponsored by state Rep. Ron Miller, R-York, will remove the special carve-out for those involved in a labor dispute. It passed the House last month. Yesterday, a slightly amended version unanimously passed the Senate, 48-0.
April 8, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - When the Obama administration approved Comcast's 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal, regulators imposed a host of conditions meant to allay concerns about the company's new power and its potential to stifle competition. Now, as a Senate committee prepares for a Wednesday hearing on another Comcast megadeal - a takeover of Time Warner Cable - the company and its critics are offering sharply different views of how it lived up to its promises the last time. "It is simply indisputable that we have honored - in fact, over-delivered - on our commitments," Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen wrote last month on the company's website.