Governor Murphy to Nominate Rachel Wainer Apter to State Supreme Court

Governor Murphy will nominate Rachel Wainer Apter to replace Jaynee LaVecchia, who announced her retirement last week, as Associate Justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court. The pick, first reported by NJ Globe, will be Governor Murphy’s second State Supreme Court nomination in two years.

Rachel Wainer Apter, 40, an Englewood resident and mother of three, grew in Rockaway and attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 2004 before clerking under US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She later served as a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union before joining Murphy’s transition team in 2017, and then the Attorney General’s office in 2018. She currently serves as the state director of the Division of Civil Rights.

Murphy’s nominee will be taking place in an election year and could play a key role in the governor underlining his achievements in elevating women to positions of power and advancing civil liberties during his time as governor.

The nomination is expected to be officially announced on Monday morning.


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  1. Here’s a partial list. Decide for yourself: Women’s Initiative; ACLU; (Rachel worked at the American Civil Liberties Union on cases concerning the right to be free from discrimination; reproductive freedom; voting rights); ADL; Challenged the Trump Administration’s decision to allow employers with moral or religious objections to contraception to opt out of providing coverage to women employees without ensuring that the women could still access no-cost contraception; counsel in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission; which considered whether a baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple on religious grounds was exempt from Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws; lead the New Jersey team that defeated a preliminary injunction motion by Texas and seven other states to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

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