That’s not to say that Christie’s nominations to the New Jersey court system have been stellar. He hasn’t kept his campaign pledge to nominate only conservative judges, but his record is not as blameworthy as his critics allege. After Christie chose not to renominate a liberal supreme-court justice, senate Democrats refused to even hold a hearing for Christie’s replacement, a conservative jurist name Anne Patterson. (In New Jersey, supreme-court justices must be renominated by the governor and reconfirmed by the senate before they receive lifetime tenure.) The protracted fight eventually forced Christie to reach a compromise and probably pushed him to be more accommodating in his judicial appointments.
On others issues, Christie has been a consistent conservative. His reform of state workers’ benefits and pensions helped balance the state budget, and it foreshadowed other conservative reforms at the state level, similar to those of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. He has proposed cutting income taxes 10 percent for all New Jersey citizens, and he was instrumental in capping property-tax increases at 2 percent per year. Christie recently vetoed a health-insurance exchange mandated under Obamacare. He cut funding for Planned Parenthood and vetoed a gay-marriage bill. And if that wasn’t enough, Christie also pushed for school choice for New Jersey families.