Governor Phil Murphy

New Jersey and National Leaders Support Nomination of Rachel Wainer Apter to the New Jersey Supreme Court


“The Panel found that the candidate has the competence, integrity and judicial temperament to be an outstanding Justice,” said the Governor’s Judicial Advisory Panel, comprised of Chief Justice (Retired) James Zazzali, Justice (Retired) John Wallace, Chief Justice (Retired) Deborah Poritz, Justice (Retired) Virginia Long, Justice (Retired) Stewart Pollock, Judge (Retired) Peter Doyne, and John Keefe, Former President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, in a joint statement.

“Ms. Wainer Apter’s reputation in the legal community is bar none and my interactions with her have shown me a strength of character and intellect that New Jersey will be proud to have on our highest court," said Senator Richard J. Codey. "If she should be confirmed, our residents should rest comfortably knowing that they have a strong voice on the court that will protect the civil rights of all of our residents for years to come.  She’s part of the best of New Jersey.”

“I am looking forward to voting for Rachel Wainer Apter for the New Jersey Supreme Court," said Senator Joseph Cryan. "Great choice by Governor Murphy.”

“Last year, Governor Murphy made a homerun appointment with Fabiana Pierre-Louis and now the Governor has appointed another impressive individual in Rachel Wainer Apter," said Senator Vin Gopal. "Wainer Apter’s resume is very strong. I have followed her tenure as director of the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, and she continues to serve that office with honor and distinction. Her qualifications and experiences suit her well to serve on New Jersey’s highest court. I look forward to following and participating in Ms. Wainer Apter’s nomination process.”

“It is very fitting to see the announcement of the nomination of Rachel Wainer Apter as an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s birthday," said Senator Nicholas J. Sacco. "Ms. Wainer Apter’s career has demonstrated a passion and commitment to justice and equality and she has shown herself to be a fierce defender of the rights of those most vulnerable to discrimination. Her nomination is a continuation of the lasting legacy of Justice Ginsburg here in New Jersey, and the country, as a new generation is poised to ensure we continue and build upon the ideals of equal justice under the law and equal opportunity to succeed.”

"I strongly support Governor Murphy's nomination of Rachel Wainer Apter to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Rachel has been a leader in combating hate and anti-Semitism online," said Senator Robert Singer. "She stood up to Facebook for enabling the 'Rise Up Ocean County' page because she understands that internet hate speech often incites real-world violence. I have no doubt that Rachel will seek to protect our Constitutional liberties and freedoms on our state's highest court."

"I applaud Governor Murphy's nomination of Rachel Wainer Apter to the New Jersey Supreme Court. As Director of the Division of Civil Rights, Rachel has made it a priority to inform the work of her office with input and feedback from diverse communities across our state," said Senator Troy Singleton. "She has also supported and enforced the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), our nation's oldest anti-discrimination law, including working with me on the "Fair Chance in Housing Act" to prohibit inquiries related to an applicant's criminal record prior to providing a conditional housing offer. I'm excited to see Rachel take her immense talents to our state's highest court."

"During her time in state government, Rachel Wainer Apter has defended the civil rights of our most vulnerable communities, including personally defending New Jersey's Dreamers in federal court," said Senator Brian Stack. "I am thrilled to see Governor Murphy nominate Rachel to the New Jersey Supreme Court, where I know she will continue to work tirelessly to ensure equal justice under the law for all of our residents."

“I know Rachel Wainer Apter through her work as Law Director of the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights. She has an outstanding educational background and is a highly accomplished civil rights lawyer," said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. "Having begun her career as a law clerk for justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I know her career has been dedicated to a fight for equality. The Governor has made a fine nomination and I look forward to meeting with her very soon.“

“We’re delighted to see a former ACLU lawyer nominated to the New Jersey Supreme Court,” said David Cole, National Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  “Rachel Wainer Apter was a superstar at the ACLU, and has continued to show her commitment to defending civil rights and civil liberties ever since.”

"Rachel Wainer Apter's career demonstrates her deep commitment to protecting the rights of the most vulnerable New Jerseyans and expanding access to justice for all," said Sara Cullinane, Director of Make the Road New Jersey. "As counsel to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, she led successful litigation to stop some of the Trump administration's most vicious attacks on immigrants, from defending the DACA program to challenging the Trump administration's attempt to include a citizenship question in the census. Here in New Jersey, she played a pivotal role limiting ICE enforcement in our state through the Immigrant Trust Directive. She is a brilliant legal mind and has an unwavering commitment to equal justice. We enthusiastically support her nomination.”

“At times like these, when the civil rights of people of color are under attack throughout our nation, it is refreshing to see such a strong fighter for equality nominated to the highest court in our state," said Christian Estevez, President of the Latino Action Network. "Rachel Wainer Apter has time and again proven her commitment to protecting the most vulnerable, including immigrants. The New Jersey Supreme Court will be stronger with the addition of such a highly qualified and accomplished jurist.”

“From her time as a student at Harvard Law School through her many critical posts as a law clerk and lawyer, Rachel Wainer Apter has demonstrated how someone with a first-class mind, enormous dedication to hard work, and a commitment to advancing justice can make a difference in the lives of individuals and in the vitality of our system of laws and government,” said Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University and former Dean of Harvard Law School. “Recognized by professors, jurists, lawyers, and members of the broader community for her excellence over and over, she brings enormous talent, tenacity, and compassion to everything she does.  It was a pleasure for me to recommend her when she applied to serve as a law clerk for outstanding judges, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—and to hear rave reviews from those for whom she has worked.  I once wrote in a recommendation, “I would trust her with the most challenging assignments.”  Her track record of service in the government, in nonprofit organizations, in private legal work, and in civic work more than confirms that trust.”

"ADL NY/NJ is pleased to support Rachel Wainer Apter's nomination to the New Jersey Supreme Court. We have been honored to work closely with Director Wainer Apter since her appointment as the Director of the Division on Civil Rights and believe she is well-qualified to serve in this role," said Scott Richman, New York and New Jersey Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League.  "We commend Governor Murphy for choosing Director Wainer Apter as his nominee and are enthusiastic about the prospect of her confirmation."

"Under Ms. Wainer-Apter's leadership, the Division on Civil Rights has taken a robust approach to protecting the civil rights of all New Jerseyans," said Amol Sinha, Executive Director of ACLU-NJ. "If confirmed, we look forward to arguing before her and the rest of the Supreme Court to continue that vital work. Ms. Wainer-Apter’s experience as a civil rights lawyer, including a stint at the national office of the ACLU, should serve our state well as the Court seeks to promote justice for all."

“We spent the last four years subjected to xenophobia, hatred and disunity coming from the highest office in the country. But here in New Jersey, Governor Murphy has reaffirmed our commitment to the American Dream by nominating a civil rights advocate," said Hetty Rosenstein, New Jersey Director for the Communications Workers of America (CWA). "Rachel Wainer Apter, could have taken her Harvard law degree and gone anywhere she wanted. Instead she chose to work on behalf of people who are discriminated against and in service to the public. That's the same choice that is made everyday by CWA public workers. This is the type of person New Jersey needs and deserves on its Supreme Court.”