Christie Calls Proceedings ‘A Circus’ As Senate Panel Rejects Supreme Court Nominee

March 22, 2012 12:00 AM

Christie Calls Proceedings ‘A Circus’ As Senate Panel Rejects Supreme Court Nominee
" TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Senate panel rejected Gov. Chris Christie’s nominee to the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday.

WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell: A Rare Loss For Christie

The Democratic panel voted 7-6 against Phillip Kwon, handing the Republican governor a rare defeat and causing Christie to declare the proceedings a “shameful mockery of a hearing.”

The governor said that the panel did not act in the best interest of New Jersey, leading him to charge “This was a circus, not a judicial hearing.”

Kwon, who is a Korean-American, would have been the first Asian-American to serve on the Supreme Court had he been confirmed.

Kwon was grilled through the day Thursday about his political affiliation and involvement in a lawsuit against the family’s liquor store. The 44-year-old faced questions about a New York liquor store owned by his mother and wife.

Kwon’s mother made 222 cash deposits from store proceeds just under the amount that would trigger federal reporting. The family forfeited $160,000 to settle civil charges.

Republicans on the panel called the hearing a “witch hunt” and “lynch mob.” Sen. Joseph Kyrillos of Monmouth County said he has rarely been so embarrassed as a senator "

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