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NJ Supreme Court judge steps down



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A justice on New Jersey’s Supreme Court is bidding farewell to the bench.

The Star-Ledger reports that Helen Hoens gave a farewell speech Tuesday to her fellow justices, family and friends at the court in Trenton.

The Republican from Bernards Township has served on the state’s highest court since 2006. Hoens became a Superior Court judge in 1994 and was nominated to the Supreme Court by Gov. Jon Corzine.

Gov. Chris Christie declined earlier this year to nominate Hoens for lifetime tenure, arguing that Democrats would oppose it.

In her farewell speech Hoens said the patience and compassion she is credited with were learned from being the parent of an autistic child.

Christie’s pick to replace Hoens, Superior Court Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina, has a confirmation hearing Oct. 17.