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NJ names new top judge for court covering state capital

NJ names new top judge for court covering state capital

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TRENTON — A former New Jersey acting attorney general and current Superior Court judge will be the new top jurist in Mercer County, where many cases involving state government arise and have statewide impact.

New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced Tuesday he is naming Robert Lougy as assignment judge in the vicinage of Mercer County, home to Trenton and state government.

Lougy will succeed Judge Mary Jacobson, who is retiring after two decades on the bench, the last nine as the assignment judge.

Lougy has served in Mercer County since 2019 and was named presiding judge of general equity in 2020. He joined the bench in 2016, where he served in the family division for three years, and briefly served as acting attorney general in former Gov. Chris Christie’s administration in 2016.

In 2015, Jacobson ruled against Christie’s administration in a case involving cutting the public pension payment during a budget crunch, saying the court “cannot allow the State to ‘simply walk away from its financial obligations.’” Christie’s spokesman at the time called the ruling “liberal judicial activism.” In 2017, she ruled in Christie’s favor, tossing out a lawsuit seeking to halt a $300 million Statehouse renovation that is still underway.

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