Chris Christie is so not happy the New Jersey Senate rejected one of his two precedent-setting state Supreme Court candidates, he's comparing its actions to those of rodents. And not in a warm and fuzzy way.
"They followed the union line like lemmings," said the governor, also deriding as a "shameful mockery" and "circus" the marathon Judiciary Committee hearing that ended Thursday with an 7-6 vote against former assistant N.J. Attorney General Phillip Kwon - who would have been the court's first Asian-American jurist. All but one committee Democrat voted against him; all of the Republicans voted yes.
Senate President Steve Sweeney, whose tumultuous bromance with the governor seems to have cooled yet again, issued a statement Friday that all but gloated.
"The governor may be entitled to his own nominees for cabinet posts, but we will not allow him to pack the Supreme Court," the West Deptford Democrat proclaimed. "The governor talks often of how ‘elections have consequences.’ For him, the consequence of the people electing a Democratic Legislature concerned with protecting the integrity of our legal system is now clear."
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg's victory lap likewise came in the guise of a civics lecture.
She issued a statement instructing Christie about the court's history, chiding him for "attacking the courts and denigrating judges when he disagrees with their decisions...he’s made no secret of his desire to reshape the Supreme Court to his own liking. It’s not Chris Christie’s court, it’s the New Jersey Supreme Court."
For some Christie watchers, the sweetest part of this scenario isn't seeing him pitch a hissy, entertaining as that surely is.
Rather, it's the prospect of watching the governor, who vetoed the Democrats' marriage equality bill earlier this year, fighting even harder now on behalf of his second pick, Bruce Harris -- the first openly gay nominee to the Supreme Court in New Jersey history.