Rice: 'diversity in this state should always include African Americans and Latinos'
By Max Pizarro | December 10th, 2012 - 1:08pm
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Veteran African American lawmaker state Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-28) said he is "definitely concerned" about the absence of a black state Supreme Court nominee.

Gov. Chris Christie said the presence of Japanese American David Bauman fulfills the Democrats' diversity criteria for a Supreme Court pick, but Rice said not so fast.

"Diversity in this state should always include African Americans and Latinos given our population in this state and given our history of struggle," Rice told PolitickerNJ.com. 

The senator denounced Christie's macho public style as a cover-up of substance, and included this case as an example.

Especially given the fact that Christie opted not to renew African American state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, Rice underscored the importance of a black nominee.

"There will be concern with civil rights groups, the NAACP, and from within the black and Latino communities," Rice said.

"And women," he added.

A former U.S. Marine, when the senator heard about Bauman's Marine Corps service he said, "That doesn't carry the weight a good African American would. Even in the Marines we had race riots during Vietnam."

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