New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is seeking a constitutional amendment to ensure judges contribute more for their retirement benefits.
The governor said Tuesday the state will appeal a Superior Court judge’s decision that judges should not have to make increased pension payments because the state Constitution protects them from salary reductions.
Christie says that ruling is legally and morally indefensible.
If the appeals court also rules against the increase, Christie said residents should have the opportunity to vote next year on a constitutional amendment that would specify a judge’s salary does not include benefits and pension payments.
“We are not going to leave this decision in the hands of a self-interested judiciary,” said Christie. “If necessary, we’ll put it in the hands of the people who ultimately pay these bills.”
The governor said it’s outrageous to exempt 432 judges from the pension and benefits reforms that took effect in July requiring 500,000 public employees in New Jersey to make increased contributions.
“I am not going to stand idly by after all that hard work and let a self-interested judge standing up for a group of her self-interested colleagues destroy the work we did on a bipartisan basis that has become a model for the rest of the country,” Christie vowed.