Is New Jersey’s State Constitution Unconstitutional?

Campaign to Recall Senator Menendez Turns Into Battle of the Constitutions

by Liberty Chick

New Jersey’s State Constitution is unconstitutional. That’s apparently what one New Jersey election official seems to think.

A committee seeking approval from the state to petition registered voters on whether to move forward with a special election to recall US Senator Robert Menendez was denied that request, in a letter on January 11th which stated that the US Constitution does not provide for such a proceeding.

But in 1993, the people of New Jersey overwhelmingly voted to reserve for themselves “the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress” (emphasis added), and in 1995 made this amendment to their state constitution under Article I, 2b.

This has left many New Jersey voters wondering why Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells, a member of the Executive Branch, not the Judicial Branch, would take it upon herself and her position to declare the NJ state Constitution unconstitutional. After reviewing the committee’s preliminary appeal statement, a judge in the Superior Court of NJ Appellate Division has just issued an order allowing a motion to accelerate the appeal.

Appointed to her post in January 2006 by outgoing Democratic Governor Jon Corzine, Wells was a key democratic fundraiser and close friend to Corzine. She has been called one of the Garden State’s 101 most influential people, and NJ Monthly profiled her and high-profile attorney husband Ted Wells in its Power Issue. Daughter Teresa worked on Senator John Edwards’ presidential campaign and as Corzine’s traveling press secretary, prior to accepting a position at the Rockefeller Foundation as chief media strategist. In her capacity as Secretary of State, Ms. Wells is perhaps best known for the Obama birth certificate case, Donofrio v. Wells

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