New Jersey

Eligible for Recall: Bob Menendez (D): elected to second term in 2012, up for reelection in 2018; Cory Booker (D): elected to first full term in 2014, up for reelection in 2020.

Signature Requirement: 25% of voters in last election for the Senator

Circulation Time: 320 days

Type of Recall Election: Recall Election Then Special Election

Constitutional Provision: Article 1 Section 2b (1993)

The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress. The Legislature shall enact laws to provide for such recall elections.

Initial Procedure: A recall committee of at least three registered voters is needed to initiate recall proceedings. This process may not begin until 50 days before the completion of the incumbent's first year of the current term in office. The recall committee must notify the appropriate election official of the names and addresses of at least three members of the recall committee. The election official accepting the petition will then review the notice of intention for compliance with statutory provisions, calculate the cost of a special election, and notify committee members of the acceptance or rejection of the notice, within three business days. The election official also notifies the incumbent of the notice of intention of recall within five business days and publishes a notice of the recall effort.

Click here for a more comprehensive look at the operative language. (PDF)

Contact Info:
New Jersey Division of Elections
44 South Clinton Avenue, 7th Floor
P.O. Box 304
Trenton, NJ 08625-0304
Phone: (609) 292-3760

Court Activity

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules State Constitution's Recall Law Unconstitutional

ACRU Files Brief Urging N.J. Supreme Court to Allow Menendez Recall Petitions

ACRU Urges NJ Supreme Court to Deny Sen. Menedez Petition to Hear Recall Appeal

Senator Menendez Appeals Recall

ACRU Cheers New Jersey Court's Approval of Menendez Recall Petition

Let People Decide, ACRU Says in New Jersey Recall Brief

News & Commentary

Recall against New Jersey Mayor Gets Green Light | 04/25/16

BAYONNE -- After hitting a minor problem with the filing of their recall petition, three men aiming to oust Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis from office are moving forward with collecting signatures for their cause.

City Clerk Robert Sloan said he approved the petition on Wednesday after the group updated it to specify that they are seeking a special election.

Michael Alonso, Donald Baran Jr. and Patrick Desmond first filed a notification of intention to recall the mayor on April 4. Davis, who defeated incumbent Mayor Mark Smith in the 2014 election, reacted at the time by calling the filing "comical."

Attorney and city resident Peter Cresci represented Desmond at a tax board hearing earlier this month in arguing for a citywide revaluation, which the board subsequently ordered the city to do. Davis called the request "purely political, plain and simple," which Cresci denied.

Read more.

Recall Effort Begins against New Jersey Mayor | 04/21/16

BAYONNE -- A little over two weeks since the initiative was made public, the recall effort of Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, led by childhood friend Pat Desmond, is officially underway. Desmond told Hudson County View on April 20 that the three-man recall team, which also includes perennial Republican candidate for office Michael Alonso and Donald Baran, Jr., are now free to collect signatures in hopes of forcing a special election in May 2017.

The group now has 160 days to gather 8,128 valid signatures from registered voters in the city. The number represents 25 percent of the voters registered for the last general election.

Desmond, a friend of Davis' for around 40 years before a recent falling out, was a key organizer in the 2014 municipal election where Davis unseated incumbent Mark Smith.

City Clerk Robert Sloan confirmed that his office had officially approved the recall paperwork today. Last week, he stated that the recall effort was stalled due to "a minor deficiency" where the group did not indicate if the recall should be held with the general election or a special election.

Both sides have already drawn their lines in the sands and appear prepared for a political war, with Davis calling the accusations made in the recall effort, such as failing to secure a new teachers' contract and bringing "a garbage train" back to Bayonne, "baseless and wholly inaccurate."

Read more.

Recall Effort Begins against Cape May Mayor | 04/28/15

CAPE MAY, New Jersey -- Mayor Ed Mahaney faces an attempt to oust him from office as three residents have filed a petition to begin a recall process.

The petition was filed Monday at the City Clerk's Office by Trenton Avenue resident Charles Hendricks, Lafayette Street resident Thomas Keene, and Beach Avenue resident MaryJo Pinelli.

Reached by phone, Mahaney said he was not aware of the petition.

Hendricks, who made an unsuccessful bid for council in the November election, has seen victory and defeat in battles with Mahaney. An ethics complaint he filed against Mahaney was dismissed in 2012 by the state Department of Community Affairs as having "no reasonable factual basis."

The complaint had to do with city contracts given to Mahaney's alma mater, Temple University, which had been reviewed by the city solicitor and voted on by City Council at public meetings. Mahaney called it an "unjustified and brutal attack" all about election year politics. He won the mayor's race later that year.

Read more.

Recall Drive to Begin for South Jersey Mayor | 12/31/13

VINELAND -- The battle to decide the political fate of Mayor Ruben Bermudez begins in earnest on Jan. 2, 2014.

That is when officials and volunteers with the Committee to Recall Mayor Ruben Bermudez will start going door-to-door to gather more than 9,000 signatures needed to hold an election that could oust the New Jersey city's first Hispanic chief executive.

Read more.

Reckless Congress Makes Case for Recall | 12/17/10

"If ever a Congress epitomized the need for more accountability, it's the 111th lame-duck gang. Sorry, that's unfair to gangsters. With most Americans distracted by holiday plans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has sprung another Christmas surprise, vowing to ram through a far-left agenda in the waning days of 2010. Last year, he put a giant lump of coal in Americans' stockings with Christmas Eve passage of Obamacare."

Click here for the full story from The Washington Times.

A Tea Party Fight Liberals Could Get Behind? | 07/30/10

New video on NationalJournal.com: "A Tea Party Fight Liberals Could Get Behind? Liberal Groups Could Benefit If Conservative Activists Win The Ability To Recall Members Of Congress." This video is part of National Journal's effort to document the recall efforts.

Click here to view the video.

Effort to recall Menendez heard in state supreme court | 05/25/10

"A 1787 letter from George Washington did not appear to trump other texts and events Tuesday as the state Supreme Court hit the history books while hearing arguments on a Tea Party-connected group's effort to recall U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. The NJ Supreme Court is set to hear today from New Jersey's Sussex County Tea Party activists who want to recall Menendez for promoting health care reform and opposing limited government. In a case that is being watched in several states, the recall committee with ties to a Sussex County Tea Party group is seeking the removal of Menendez, D-NJ, whose term expires in 2012. The Committee to Recall Senator Menendez says the senator is a big spender, and it opposes his support of the recently passed health care reform law."

Click here for the full story from NorthJersey.com.

Banned In Trenton: Menendez Tries to Block Recall Brief | 05/12/10

"On May 12, 2010, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez filed a brief with the New Jersey Supreme Court to deny the Committee to Recall Sen. Robert Menendez the benefit of a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund and 11 other public interest organizations. The brief supports the right of the people of New Jersey to recall their United States Senators and Representatives, as provided by New Jersey's Constitution. RoseAnn Salanitri, Chairman of the recall effort (Recallnj.com) asked: "What is Sen. Menendez so afraid of by this amicus brief that he does not want the court to see it or read it?"Michael Laffey of the Messina Law Firm, the local counsel that filed the brief, said, "I have never seen this done before in New Jersey." According to Sen. Menendez, the brief should be dismissed because it was not filed in a "timely" manner, even though it was filed on May 10, 2010, the very day set by the Court for the filing of briefs by all parties and by amici."

Click here for the full story from RecallNJ.com.

NJ AG declines to oppose Menendez recall committee before NJSC | 04/24/10

"In a stunning development, the New Jersey Attorney General's office said on Thursday that it will not support the petition for certification by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who is seeking to have the New Jersey Supreme Court quash an effort by a citizens' committee to recall him from office, this Examiner has learned. In a letter addressed to the clerk of the Supreme Court, Assistant Attorney General Donna Kelly cited the opinion of the Appellate Division in the case of Committee to Recall Robert Menendez from the Office of United States Senator v. Nina M. Wells et al., stating that invalidating the recall provisions of the New Jersey constitution and authorizing statute would have 'grave and momentous consequences.' Kelly indicated the full agreement of the AG's office with the Appellate Division's applications of 'principles of judicial restraint.'"

Click here for the full story from Examiner.com.

NJ Tea Party Coalition Seeks Menendez Recall | 04/12/10

"Led by the Sussex County New Jersey Tea Party Patriots, a coalition of like-minded organizations in the Garden State has filed a petition with the New Jersey Secretary of State to recall Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez. The Tea Party groups' official reason for calling for Menendez's ouster by recall is his support for what the groups see as radical agenda items like President Obama's healthcare overhaul and the controversial cap-and-trade energy tax legislation. But the effort started months before Menendez's Christmas Eve vote for the Senate healthcare bill."

Click here for the full story from HumanEvents.com.

Menendez Recall Case Likely Heading to U.S. Supreme Court | 04/06/10

"This should be interesting: The state Supreme Court is being asked to rule whether the New Jersey Constitution is constitutional. Now there's a case for the court to be deciding while Gov. Chris Christie is mulling appointing/reappointing four justices. The case comes courtesy of Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ, who is asking the court to say that any attempt to recall him is unconstitutional because it violates the U.S. Constitution. And, as a result, he'll also be asking the court to decide whether the section of the New Jersey Constitution, which allows for the recall of all elected officials, is unconstitutional as well."

Click here for the full story from InTheLobby.net.

U.S. Sen. Menendez Appeals Recall Ruling | 04/06/10

"Calling it an 'attack on the Constitution,' a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez yesterday said the Democrat has appealed to the state Supreme Court to stop a recall effort. 'Mainstream New Jerseyans believe deeply in the U.S. Constitution that for more than 200 years has made ours the greatest form of government in world history,' said Afshin Mohamadi, a spokesman for Menendez (D-NJ). 'This attack on the Constitution undermines our uniquely American system of democracy and will be contested.'" (Ackermann, The Record)

Click here to read the full article from NorthJersey.com.

ACRU continues defense of Menendez recall effort | 04/02/10

"The American Civil Rights Union, which filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the appeal by the Committee to Recall Robert Menendez from the Office of United States Senator, today offered a new commentary explaining why the recall of a United States Senator by his State's voters is constitutional and unaffected by the most-often-cited case law.

John Armor, a member of the ACRU's legal team, offered this commentary in today's American Thinker. In it he pointed out that the United States Supreme Court has never before heard a specific case involving the recall of a Member of Congress."

Click here to read the full article from Examiner.com.

Is a State-Based Recall of a U.S. Senator Constitutional? | 04/01/10

By John Armor. This article originally appeared on AmericanThinker.com on April 1, 2010.

Whether citizens of a state have the right to recall from office a sitting U.S. senator is no longer an academic question. The second-highest New Jersey appeals court has just ruled that such an effort can proceed against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

Several other states have provisions in their state constitutions and laws that may also allow recall efforts. And by the common provision of initiative by the people of state laws and constitutions, similar processes could be established in other states.

Continue reading “Is a State-Based Recall of a U.S. Senator Constitutional? ”.

Toyotas Aren't the Only Things Getting Recalled This Year | 03/17/10

By John Armor. This article originally appeared on Townhall.com on March 17, 2010.

On Tuesday, the New Jersey Court of Appeals cleared the way for the recall of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to proceed. New Jersey is one of nine states whose constitutions provide broad language with regard to recalling "all, every, any" elected official. This decision could severely endanger the 11 other sitting Senators (all Democrats) in those states, who are not up for re-election this year but could be subject to citizen recall efforts.

Continue reading “Toyotas Aren't the Only Things Getting Recalled This Year”.

Let the Recalls Begin | 03/17/10

By Peter Ferrara. This article originally appeared on FOXNews on March 17, 2010.

A New Jersey state appellate court yesterday gave the green light for approval of the circulation of petitions in that state asking for a recall election to remove Democrat U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. State law in 9 states counting New Jersey specifically provides for the recall of members of Congress, just as former California Governor Gray Davis was recalled and replaced with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a recall election in 2003. Those 9 states are represented by 12 incumbent Democratic Senators who are not otherwise up for reelection this year, potentially putting majority control of the Senate even more in play.

Continue reading “Let the Recalls Begin ”.

First Ever Recall Effort of a U.S. Senator Cleared by N.J. Court | 03/16/10

"It has apparently never been done before, but a Tea Party group in New Jersey has won the first round in its effort to recall a U.S. Senator -- Democrat Robert Menendez. 'We are loathe to strike down a component of our State's charter [Constitution] that fortifies the democratic role of our citizens,' an Appeals Court panel ruled Wednesday morning. Tea Partiers upset with rising taxes tried last year to get permission from New Jersey's Secretary of State to begin a petition recall campaign against Menendez. When that was denied, they went to court. And now they've won."

Click here for the full story from NBCNewYork.com.

New Jersey Democrats Blast Tea Party | 03/10/10

"New Jersey Democrats are coming out with guns blazing against a tea party-led effort to recall Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, with the state party chairman going so far as to brand the campaign racist. Last week, newly minted Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski blasted the recall campaign as extremist, saying that it was no accident that it was targeting Menendez, the only Hispanic in the Senate. And without mentioning her by name, Wisniewski took a shot at the recall campaign's leader, Sussex County tea party founder RoseAnn Salanitri."

Click here for the full story from Politico.com.

Tea Party Group Seeking to Recall Sen. Robert Menendez Appears Before N.J. Appeals Court | 03/10/10

"Appearing before a three-judge appellate panel in Trenton today, the attorney representing the Committee to Recall Senator Menendez--which is backed by the state's grassroots conservative Tea Party movement--said his client has a right to begin an effort to remove the New Jersey Democrat."

Click here for the full story from NJ.com.

Stopping the Runaway Congress | 03/03/10

By Peter Ferrara. This article originally appeared on Big Government on March 3, 2010.

The recall of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez took a step forward yesterday with a promising oral argument in New Jersey state court. The New Jersey Constitution expressly provides for the recall of members of Congress representing the state in a provision adopted by a 75% favorable vote of the people in 1995. The New Jersey state legislature then expressly provided by statute for the procedures for such a recall.

Continue reading “Stopping the Runaway Congress ”.

Tea Party Group Seeking to Recall Sen. Robert Menendez Appears Before N.J. Appeals Court | 03/02/10

"Appearing before a three-judge appellate panel in Trenton today, the attorney representing the Committee to Recall Senator Menendez--which is backed by the state's grassroots conservative Tea Party movement--said his client has a right to begin an effort to remove the New Jersey Democrat."

Click here for the full story from NJ.com.

Location of Recall Committee Hearing Changed | 02/23/10

(2/23/10) -- "Three Appellate Division judges will hear oral argument in Committee to Recall Robert Menendez v. Nina Wells, Secretary of State et al. on Friday, Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. in the Supreme Court courtroom on the 8th floor of the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market St., Trenton."

Click here to read the full press release from NJCourtsOnline.com.

Throw the Bums Out: Let's Take It On The Road | 02/16/10

By Peter Ferrara. This article originally appeared on Big Government on February 16, 2010.

Eighteen states provide for recall elections to remove state officials. Nine of those provide for the same for their Congressional representatives. But such a right of recall can and should be adopted in every state.

Ideally this would be done by amending the state constitution to provide for such recall elections. But it can be done through statute as well, with the New Jersey Uniform Recall Election Law as a good model.

Continue reading “Throw the Bums Out: Let's Take It On The Road ”.

Menendez NJ Recall Update: The Tea Party Goes to Court | 02/14/10

"In addition, the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), has taken interest in the case and had filed an emergent application requesting approval to participate in the appeal as amicus curiae (friend of the court), given the broader constitutional implications of the case. In the same order, Judge Stern also granted the ACRU's emergent application and approved the organization's participation in the appeal."

Click here for the full story from Big Government.

Judge Approves Appeal of Menendez Recall Decision to Move Forward | 02/10/10

"A NJ Superior Court Appellate Judge has granted an emergency motion to fast-track the appeal of a committee seeking to recall a United States Senator. In a two-part order issued late afternoon on Thursday, February 4th, Judge Edwin Stern granted the committee's motion to accelerate their appeal and scheduled oral arguments for Friday, February 26th. In the same order, the Judge also granted approval for the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) to participate in the appeal as amicus curiae (friend of the court), in response to an emergent application filed by the ACRU."

Click here for the full story from LibertyChick.com.

The Right to Recall the Rascals | 02/02/10

By John Armor. This column originally appeared on Townhall.com on February 2, 2010.

Do the citizens of the states have a constitutional right to recall their Members of Congress before the end of their set terms, if they become satisfied that their Members are seriously harming the interests of the people who elected them?

The U.S. Constitution states no right to recall federal officials. But that's not the end of the inquiry, only the beginning.

There are two main reasons why the right of recall can be established for all elected officials, including Members of Congress. One is that the Constitution delegates general election law to the states. The other is that the 10th Amendment reserves to the states and the people all rights not delegated to the national government.

Continue reading “The Right to Recall the Rascals”.

Menendez Not the Only US Senator Facing Recall | 02/01/10

"Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) responded today to the appeal by the citizens' committee seeking to recall him, apparently insisting that he is a federal official and thus not subject to the New Jersey constitution's recall provision, according to a source close to the case. 'So here is a powerful New Jersey resident arguing that his home state's Constitution, passed overwhelmingly by the people of New Jersey, that he claims to represent, is invalid and you can't recall him from office,' the outraged source told this Examiner. But in fact Menendez is not the only United States Senator to be the target of a recall committee. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is another."

Click here for the full story from Examiner.com.

The Right of Recall | 01/25/10

By Peter Ferrara. This article originally appeared on Fox Forum on January 25, 2010.

Congress is out of control. The public overwhelmingly opposes the pending legislation for a government takeover of health care. But Congressional leaders are telling us they don't care. They know best, and they're going to pass it anyway.

We see the same attitude on other issues, from global warming regulation, to taxes, government spending, deficits, federal debt, energy policy, welfare, corporate bailouts, and beyond. Too many of our Congressional "representatives" seem unwilling to listen to the views of their constituents, insisting that they already know it all. They respond to dissenters with name-calling, labeling them yahoos, Nazis, and tea baggers.

Continue reading “The Right of Recall”.

Is New Jersey's State Constitution Unconstitutional? Campaign to Recall Senator Menendez Turns Into Battle of the Constitutions | 01/17/10

"New Jersey's State Constitution is unconstitutional. That's apparently what one New Jersey election official seems to think. A committee seeking approval from the state to petition registered voters on whether to move forward with a special election to recall US Senator Robert Menendez was denied that request, in a letter on January 11th which stated that the US Constitution does not provide for such a proceeding."

Click here for the full story from Big Government.

Each state has its own requirements as to the manner in which petitions must be collected, signed and filed. It is imperative that official recall committees are legally formed in each state according to the state laws and regulations. The handling of the petitions must comply with the laws and regulations of each state.