Gov. Christie Promises Harris Will Recuse Himself on SSM


The Republic:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie found himself on the defense Monday over his two Supreme Court picks just a week after announcing that he was moving to diversify the state's all-white Supreme Court by nominating two firsts: an openly gay black man and an immigrant.

Christie said Bruce Harris, who is gay, told the governor he would recuse himself from hearing any gay marriage cases because the nominee, a former Chatum Borough mayor, has advocated for the issue.

Years ago Harris, 61, wrote to several state senators asking for their support of a same-sex marriage bill being heard by the Senate in late 2009. Christie, a Republican who supports civil unions but opposes calling it marriage, said Harris volunteered the information about his writing.

"He told me he favored same-sex marriage, had advocated for it in his political capacity and as a result, if he were confirmed to the court, would recuse himself from that matter because he did not want there to be the appearance of bias," the governor recalled.