With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that New Jersey can pull out of the Waterfront Harbor Commission, the agency charged with fighting corruption since 1953 at the U.S. East Coast’s busiest port appears to be on its way out, says The Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 18, in a unanimous decision, that New Jersey can withdraw from the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor despite the objections of the state of New York.
The decision augurs the beginning of the end for the agency which was established in 1953 following reports of racketeering that inspired the Marlon Brando movie “On the Waterfront.”
New Jersey says it is withdrawing because most cargo-handling activity at the Port of New York and New Jersey takes place in its jurisdiction and its state police force can take over its crime-fighting duties. New Jersey’s governor says he’ll now work with New York on “a swift and orderly dissolution” of the bi-state agency.
The commission has a checkered past. As recently as January 2023, a Gambino crime family member was ousted from a position of responsibility at the port. Ironically, the bi-state agency was gutted of its senior staff in 2009, after discovery of widespread corruption.
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