Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Jester's Exit

Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto of the New Jersey Supreme Court
by Roslyn F. Martorano

Roslyn Martorano, a 2011 graduate of Albany Law School where she was an Associate Editor of the Albany Law Review, is the Graduate Executive Director of the Center and its immediate past Executive Director. She was awarded a New York State Senate Fellowship and currently works with Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Standing Committee on Health.

In 2004, New Jersey Governor McGreevey shocked commentators when he appointed the first Hispanic Justice to the state's Supreme Court, Roberto A. Rivera-Soto. Though he came to the court from an atypical personal, political, and professional background, Justice Rivera-Soto soon found his voice and divided the court.

In criminal cases resulting in divided decisions, he is the court’s great, and often lone, dissenter. In criminal cases involving state constitutional issues, and again resulting in divided decisions, he votes almost exclusively to benefit the prosecutors’ efforts. Unfortunately, his legacy will forever intertwine with the national sideshow about the politically charged and immature machinations surrounding judicial selection for the New Jersey Supreme Court.*
* Citations to materials listed in this introduction, as well as Appendices A, B, and C, are available in the paper.

Read the entire paper HERE.