WASHINGTON, D.C. — The New Jersey Supreme Court has chosen the tie-breaking 13th member of the state’s nonpartisan redistricting commission. Justice John Wallace, New Jersey Democrats’ pick who previously served on the state Supreme Court, will join six Republicans and six Democrats on the commission to draw new congressional maps. The selection was unprecedented and politically tricky for the court, which is required to select the tiebreaking member only when Democrats and Republicans can not arrive at a consensus candidate. Since 1991, the parties have agreed on the 13th member together, but this July they failed to meet the deadline and the decision was kicked to the state Supreme Court.
Wallace is the first non-white tiebreaking member of the state’s Congressional Redistricting Commission. Although the court’s vote is not public, at least one conservative justice must have voted for Wallace in order for him to advance.