Judges and Policy Makers

Deborah T. Poritz, Chief Justice (ret.), Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 6:00pm
By Invitation Only
Graduate Students
Policy Students

The Program in Law and Public Affairs invites MPP/MPA students to join us for "Law in Public Service: Not Just for Lawyers," where our guest will be Deborah T. Poritz, Chief Justice (ret.), Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey.

This event is by invitation only.   If interested, RSVP here.


Deborah T. Poritz
Chief Justice (ret.), Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey, 1996-2006

Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz (Ret.) served as the first woman Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1996 to 2006. During her tenure, she authored numerous opinions on significant issues of state and federal law, including disputes regarding parental notification of a minor’s abortion, the discriminatory use of preemptory jury challenges, the right of the Boy Scouts to exclude homosexual members, and the right of same-sex couples to marry. She also presided over the unification of the New Jersey court system that followed legislation transferring the responsibility for funding the courts from the counties to the state. The former Chief Justice is recognized for having used her appointment powers to increase the percentage of talented minority and women managers in the state judiciary and for having elevated minority and women judges to leadership positions in the trial and intermediate appellate courts. Prior to 1996, she was appointed as New Jersey’s first woman Attorney General. In that role, she defended Megan’s Law before the state and federal courts and chaired the Task Force that reformed and reorganized the juvenile justice system in New Jersey. Previously, she served as Chief Counsel to Gov. Thomas Kean, in which capacity she reviewed potential appointments to the state judiciary for the Governor. She received her B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1958 and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1977. The Chief Justice is currently Of-Counsel in the Princeton office of the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.