This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Governor Christie Asks Legislative Leaders to Declare Whether They Stand on the Side of Fairness or on the Side of the Privileged 432
"This is an egregious and self-serving decision that protects a small class of individuals who believe they deserve exclusive treatment… I could not in good conscience stand by and watch hard-working state employees earning a fraction of a judge’s salary pay their fair share while the judiciary exempts itself while claiming special constitutional protection.” – Governor Chris Christie, Remarks On Superior Court Ruling On Judiciary Pensions, October 18, 2011
Judges Want To Be Exempted From Paying Their Fair Share:
The Average Public Employee’s Salary Is $56,700 While The Average Judge’s Salary Is Over $166,000.
There Are 500,000 Public Employees Paying Their Fair Share Thanks To Bi-Partisan Pension Reform, While Judge Feinberg’s Ruling Will Exempt A Privileged 432 Judges.
Judges Want To Continue To Contribute 3% Towards Their Pensions While All Other Public Employees Now Contribute Between 6.5% - 10%. Judges Qualify For A Lifetime Pension At 75% Of Their Annual Salary After As Little As 10 Years On The Bench.
The Average Annual Benefit For A New Retiree Is $107,540.
Over The Entire Course Of Their Time On The Bench, A Judge Will Contribute Less Than $60,000 Toward Their Pension, And Once Retired Collect Over $2,300,000 In Benefits.
That Means In Less Than One Year Into Retirement, A Judge Will Collect The Entire Amount They Personally Contributed Toward Their Pension Fund. The Rest Of Their Lives Will Be On The Taxpayers.
Which Side are Assembly Speaker Oliver And Senate President Sweeney On, The Side of Taxpayers or the Privileged Judiciary?
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver: "I am not inclined to support pursuing a constitutional amendment… It sets a very unhealthy precedent." (Megan DeMarco, “Christie's Constitutional Amendment On Judges' Pay Gets No Support From Senate And Assembly Leaders,” Star-Ledger, 10/20/11)
"To circumvent a judge's ruling and put a public question on the ballot is not an appropriate thing to do at that time."
(Angela Delli Santi, “NJ Legislature Won't Interfere In Suit Over Judges' Pension Payments,” The Associated Press, 10/19/11)
Senate President Stephen Sweeney: "Whether I agree or disagree with the decision, the judicial process must be respected… After the appeals process has been completed, the Legislature will then determine the appropriate reaction — if any." (Angela Delli Santi, “NJ Legislature Won't Interfere In Suit Over Judges' Pension Payments,” The Associated Press, 10/19/11) Calls For The Legislature To “Get To Work” On A Constitutional Amendment Are Growing:
Asbury Park Press: “While waiting for the court to rule, the Legislature should get to work crafting a state constitutional amendment, as suggested by Christie Tuesday, stating explicitly that health insurance and pension contributions for the judiciary may indeed be increased.” (Editorial, “Poor Judgment In Pension Ruling,” Asbury Park Press, 10/19/11)
“Christie and the state Attorney General’s Office must continue to argue what should be obvious to everyone, even judges: The state constitution protects judges’ salaries, not their pension and health benefits. A constitutional amendment could make that so apparent that even Judge Feinberg gets it.” (Editorial, “Poor Judgment In Pension Ruling,” Asbury Park
“The state constitution does say that judges’ salaries cannot be diminished during their terms. But it requires a leap of legal logic to interpret that to mean increased contributions to benefits represent a lowering of one’s salary. They don’t: The salary remains the same, even if one’s take-home pay is less. That is a reality that those who toil in the private sector grapple with all the time.” (Editorial, “Poor Judgment In Pension Ruling,” Asbury Park Press, 10/19/11)
Courier Post: “Tuesday, Christie began a push to pass an amendment to the state constitution that would spell out clearly that salary is salary and pension and health benefits are not salary. The process for getting an amendment passed is long and slow. Nonetheless, the governor should pursue it.” (Editorial, “Judges Aren't A Special Class,” Courier Post, 10/19/11)
Special Class,” Courier Post, 10/19/11)
“Where We Stand: It would be absurd to exempt judges statewide from needed benefit reforms.” (Editorial, “Judges Aren't A “[I]t is preposterous that all public employees in the state, tens of thousands of them across the different levels of government, should be subject to greater paycheck contributions toward their rising health insurance costs and state pensions while judges alone are exempted from this.” (Editorial, “Judges Aren't A Special Class,” Courier Post, 10/19/11) “It would be terribly wrong to have one small, elite class of higly paid public workers not contribute as much as other, lower-paid, workers toward their benefits.” (Editorial, “Judges Aren't A Special Class,” Courier Post, 10/19/11)
The Record, 10/19/11)
The Record: “Christie said Tuesday that he will seek an amendment to the state constitution if subsequent court rulings uphold Feinberg's decision. There should be bipartisan support in the Legislature to make that amendment reality for the 2012 ballot. We doubt that New Jersey voters would support the continuation of a protected class of state employees.” (Editorial, “Judicial benefits,”
“We support Christie's using his bully pulpit to rally public outrage over Feinberg's ruling. It is a self-serving decision. It should not stand.” (Editorial, “Judicial benefits,” The Record, 10/19/11) “Judges are the only state employees whose salaries are protected by the state constitution. We understand why the provision existed. It was created to protect judges from political retribution. But what the Christie administration achieved with regard to pension and health reforms was not about political payback. It was about paycheck reality.” “If we understand the literal ruling correctly, no judge in New Jersey should have to pay a higher income tax than was in effect on his or her date of hire. That is absurd.” (Editorial, “Judicial benefits,” The Record, 10/19/11)
Gloucester County Times: A constitutional amendment “may be worth a try, since shipping the case off to the appellate division and, eventually the state Supreme Court, may well yield another ruling of the kind that Christie correctly called ‘selfinterested and outrageous.’” (Editorial, “Justice doesn't mean 'just us,’” Gloucester County Times, 10/20/11) Burlington County Times: “In response, Christie said last week, ‘This outrageous, self-serving decision, where a judge is protecting her own pocketbook and those of her colleagues, is why the public has grown to have such little faith in the objectivity of the judiciary.’ Yeah. What he said.” (Editorial, “The Rules Don't Apply To Them,” Burlington County Times, 10/24/11)
“The state’s position, and we agree, is that the increase is not discriminatory because it applies to all state employees — as it should. Christie has asked the Legislature to step in, but thus far, it doesn’t look as if it’s eager to do so. Applying even a modicum of fairness to this issue seems too much to ask.” (Editorial, “The Rules Don't Apply To Them,” Burlington County