Justice LaVecchia announced yesterday that she will retire from the Supreme Court in August of this year. Her full statement follows:
“It has been a privilege to hold the position of an Associate Justice for these more than 21 years. I revere the Court’s importance in our constitutional structure, and I have striven to uphold the Court’s independence and esteem during my service. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the many members of the Court with whom I have served, and the three extraordinary Chief Justices who have led the Court during my period of service: Chief Poritz, Chief Zazzali, and now our current Chief Justice, the Honorable Stuart Rabner.
But, after spending almost my entire professional career –more than 40 years –in public service in various legal and policy positions within the Executive Branch and then the Supreme Court, I have decided after much reflection that it is time for a change.
After a little rest and relaxation, I plan to assess what new professional opportunities may lie ahead, including service to the community. Also, I would like to have more flexibility in my personal life. Most of all I want the flexibility to be able to enjoy more time with my family, including my extended family, who live in many parts of the country.”
At age 66, Justice LaVecchia could have remained on the Supreme Court for four more years. Her decision to retire this year allows Governor Murphy to make a second nomination to the Supreme Court, following on his selection, and Senate confirmation, of Justice Pierre-Louis. The departure of Justice LaVecchia, an independent, will leave the Court with three Democrats and three Republicans, allowing Governor Murphy maximum flexibility in filling the seat.
Justice LaVecchia’s record of public service is a lengthy one, as she noted. As described here, she has touched many bases, including service as Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance, Director of the Division of Law, and Director and Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Administrative Law. In all of those posts, and on the Supreme Court, where she is currently the senior Associate Justice, she has served with distinction. Hers are big shoes to fill.