Reelection of Mayor Bruce Harris Reveals Much about Republicans and Democrats

 

HarrisCongratulations to my town’s mayor, Bruce Harris, who was re-elected yesterday. In 2012, he was nominated by our governor for a spot on the state’s Supreme Court.

Harris is a graduate of Amherst College and Yale Law School. He also happens to be gay and African-American. His appointment to the court was blocked by Democrats. Can you guess why?

They cited his lack of courtroom experience. (Absurd, because many judges and justices lack such experience before being appointed.)

Let me help you solve the mystery: The court is the New Jersey Supreme Court. Harris was nominated by Gov. Christie. That’s right: Harris is a Republican. Oh, and by the way, not only is our town of Chatham Borough overwhelmingly Republican, it is nearly 100 percent white.

Could it be that a middle-class, conservative, lily-white community cares more about diversity than N.J. Senate Democrats do?  Or perhaps we care about the job one does, rather than race or sexual orientation.

There are 11 comments.

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  1. Liz Member
    Liz
    @Liz

    Do you know what he studied at Amherst? I wonder if he was an Arkes student (I checked the dates; Hadley Arkes started teaching there in 1966, when Harris would have been about 15).

    • #1
  2. Vectorman Member
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Was there someone else appointed by Governor  Christie that made it past the 7-6 Dem/Rep vote? Please tell us so we can see which party respects diversity.

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  3. Johnny Dubya Member
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Liz:Do you know what he studied at Amherst? I wonder if he was an Arkes student (I checked the dates; Hadley Arkes started teaching there in 1966, when Harris would have been about 15).

    I know he graduated in 1973, magna cum laude, but I don’t know what he studied.  It’s very likely he was a student of Arkes.

    • #3
  4. Liz Member
    Liz
    @Liz

    Johnny Dubya:

    Liz:Do you know what he studied at Amherst? I wonder if he was an Arkes student (I checked the dates; Hadley Arkes started teaching there in 1966, when Harris would have been about 15).

    I know he graduated in 1973, magna cum laude, but I don’t know what he studied. It’s very likely he was a student of Arkes.

    I like him already.

    • #4
  5. Johnny Dubya Member
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Vectorman:Was there someone else appointed by Governor Christie that made it past the Dem/Rep vote? Please tell us so we can see which party respects diversity.

    To be frank, I didn’t know the complete story about the Supreme Court controversy until your post caused me to do a little digging.

    The slot actually remains technically vacant.  (I believe there is an interim justice – a Democrat.)  The controversy started when Christie declined to reappoint the Court’s only African-American member (a Democrat) to another seven-year term.  This of course caused an uproar on the Democratic side.  Christie nominated a man named Phil Kwon (a naturalized U.S. citizen born in South Korea) who was rejected by Democrats and then he nominated Harris who was also rejected.  The standoff persists.

    One might surmise that Christie was playing identity politics by nominating minorities to a “minority seat”.  If so, that is unfortunate but an inescapable sign of the times.  This is perhaps obvious, but Harris’s leadership of our town has absolutely nothing to do with identity politics.  No one seems to care one way or another about his race or sexual orientation.

    • #5
  6. Vectorman Member
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Johnny Dubya:

    Vectorman:Was there someone else appointed by Governor Christie that made it past the Dem/Rep vote? Please tell us so we can see which party respects diversity.

    ——

    One might surmise that Christie was playing identity politics by nominating minorities to a “minority seat”. If so, that is unfortunate but an inescapable sign of the times. This is perhaps obvious, but Harris’s leadership of our town has absolutely nothing to do with identity politics. No one seems to care one way or another about his race or sexual orientation.

    And that’s how it should be.

    • #6
  7. Herbert Member
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Reading some news accounts about him, it seems Mr. Harris agreed, if appointed, to recuse himself from gay issues brought before the court, including gay marriage. Could there be a valid, non-political reason for him doing this?

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  8. Johnny Dubya Member
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Herbert:Reading some news accounts about him, it seems Mr. Harris agreed, if appointed, to recuse himself from gay issues brought before the court, including gay marriage. Could there be a valid, non-political reason for him doing this?

    Not sure what you’re asking, exactly.  For what it’s worth, Harris does have a long-time (30+ years) partner.

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Johnny Dubya: Can you guess why?

    He’s neither an authentic black nor an authentic gay?  Oh wait, you already said he’s a (gasp!) Republican!

    • #9
  10. Hustler46060 Member
    Hustler46060
    @Hustler46060

    The real issue is does the trash get picked up, the snow plowed in time and the streets cleaned. If he’s getting the job done, that’s all that matters. That’s what gets you re elected. That’s why the rest doesn’t matter-or at least shouldn’t.

    • #10
  11. Herbert Member
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Hustler46060: The real issue is does the trash get picked up, the snow plowed in time and the streets cleaned. If he’s getting the job done, that’s all that matters. That’s what gets you re elected. That’s why the rest doesn’t matter-or at least shouldn’t.

    helps when you don’t have anyone running against you as well….

    • #11

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