Three Appellate Division Judges Are Temporarily Assigned to Sit on the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has been functioning for months with four Justices, plus Judge Fuentes on temporary assignment. Judge Fuentes is due to retire on September 1. At that time, the Court will lack a quorum, as Article VI, section 2, paragraph 1 provides that five members of the Court shall constitute a quorum.

As a result, Chief Justice Rabner today issued an order temporarily assigning Judges Fisher, Sabatino, and Fasciale to the Supreme Court, effective September 1. (Judge Messano, the Chief Judge of the Appellate Division, waived this temporary assignment, according to the order). That brings the Court back up to seven members while maintaining the custom that no more than four of the Court’s members belong to either major party (Chief Justice Rabner, Justice Pierre-Louis, and Judges Fisher and Sabatino are Democrats, while Justices Patterson and Solomon, and Judge Fasciale, are Republicans). It is, however, the first time (to my knowledge) that the Court has had three temporary assignees, although there is at least one case, which I argued, where Justices were actually outnumbered by Appellate Division judges elevated to the Court for that case only.

The three temporarily assigned judges are all experienced and respected jurists who will do the Court and themselves proud. Welcome Judges Fisher, Sabatino, and Fasciale

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