The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the Supreme Court nomination of Phillip Kwon Thursday, with seven of the eight Democrats voting against him. Gov. Chris Christie, who nominated both Kwon and Bruce Harris in January, blasted the Democrats for playing politics and not voting on Kwon’s qualifications.
Much of the more than six-hour hearing Thursday focused on Kwon’s mother’s liquor business. She had been investigated by federal authorities for making more than 200 deposits in amounts slightly less than $10,000, the threshold for having to report the deposits. Kwon’s family settled with investigators and no one was ever criminally charged in the case.
Some Republicans on the Senate committee criticized those on other side of the aisle for focusing too much on Kwon’s family and not enough on his qualifications and judiciary philosophy.
Christie held a press conference after the Senate vote, blasting the Democrats for making the process political. “After years of public service to his state and to his country, Phil Kwon was treated not with respect today, but with disdain. He was treated not as a graduate of Georgetown University and former editor of the Rutgers Law Review, but as a political punching bag,” Christie said. “He was treated not like an accomplished 11-year prosecutor who achieved convictions on public corruption and gang related matters, but as a means to an end for Democrats desperately in search of a political win.”
Christie criticized Democrats for spending just 23 minutes on Kwon’s qualifications in a hearing that lasted about six hours.
“They conducted a shameful mockery of a hearing that dragged Phil and his family through the mud, questioning not only his integrity without any basis, but questioning the integrity of his wife, his mother and his crippled father,” Christie said.