The New Jersey governor is able to nominate new members to the Supreme Court when openings occur through resignation, death or retirement of sitting justices. Once confirmed by the Senate, appointed justices initially serve a seven-year term after which they can be nominated for tenure by the sitting governor and, if reconfirmed by the State Senate, remain on the Court until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 70.
During his four years in office, Governor Florio did not have the opportunity to appoint any new justices to the Supreme Court, but did nominate Gary Stein, originally appointed by Governor Kean, for tenure. Stein was confirmed on January 11, 1992 and continued to serve for another 10 years before retiring. Throughout Governor Florio’s term, the state Supreme Court maintained the same membership, led by Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz, originally nominated by Governor Byrne and granted tenure under Governor Kean.
Robert N. Wilentz, tenured
Robert L. Clifford, tenured
Alan B. Handler, tenured
Steward G. Pollock, tenured
Daniel J. O’Hern, tenured
Marie L. Garibaldi, tenured
Gary S. Stein, gained tenure on January 11, 1992