Stuart Jeff Rabner
) is the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court
. He has previously served as New Jersey Attorney General
, Chief Counsel to Governor Jon Corzine
, and as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey.
Rabner graduated summa cum laude
from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
at Princeton University
and cum laude
from Harvard Law School
. Rabner grew up in Passaic
. He currently resides in Caldwell
. He was married in 1989 to Dr. Deborah Ann Wiener, and has three children (Erica, Carly, and Jack). In June 2007, he was named the #1 most influential political personality in the state of New Jersey.
Appointment as Chief Justice
On June 4
, Governor Corzine nominated Rabner to be the next Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court
, replacing James R. Zazzali
, who was nearing the mandatory retirement age.
Shortly after the nomination, two members of the New Jersey Senate from Essex County, where Rabner resides, blocked consideration of his confirmation by invoking "senatorial courtesy", a Senate tradition that allows home county legislators to intercede to prevent consideration of a nominee from the counties they represent. State Senator Ronald Rice had initially blocked the nomination, but relented on June 15, 2007, after a meeting with the governor. Senator Nia Gill dropped her block on June 19, 2007, but did not initially explain the nature of concerns. (Anonymous lawmakers cited in The New York Times indicated that the objection was due to Rabner's race and Governor Jon Corzine's failure to consider a minority candidate for the post.)
With the Senators permitting consideration of his nomination, Rabner was quickly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, with Gill casting the only negative vote. On June 21, 2007, the New Jersey Senate confirmed Rabner as Chief Justice by a vote of 36-1, with Gill again casting the lone dissenting vote.
Rabner was sworn in as Chief Justice on June 29, 2007, with Acting Chief Justice Virginia Long administering the oath of office.
Rabner served as Attorney General of New Jersey
in the cabinet of New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine
. He took office as attorney general on September 26
. Rabner was nominated by Governor Corzine on August 24
, to replace former Attorney General Zulima Farber
who resigned and left office on August 31
. On September 25
, Rabner was confirmed by a 35-0 margin by the New Jersey Senate
He assumed the post of Chief Counsel to Governor Corzine in January 2006. Previously, Rabner had served as Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey
, focusing on public corruption issues, and supervising 100 attorneys and staff. He was viewed as a surprise choice for the chief counsel position, as it traditionally goes to individuals with strong political connections and not to career prosecutors. Rabner began his legal career as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Dickinson Richards Debevoise
of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.