Report: Upset N.J. gov calls court 'exalted elite'

Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 11, 2011, 10:31am


TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is fuming over the state Supreme Court's decision to take up a case over how much public employees should contribute to their insurance and pensions.

According to the Star-Ledger, the state's high court decided Wednesday to bypass an appeals court and consider the issue itself.

Christie, in response Thursday, lashed out at the Court -- calling its justices "unelected, unresponsive public servants" and "the exalted elite" -- and questioned their getting involved, the newspaper reported.

At issue is a new law requiring all state employees, including judges, to pay more toward their benefits.

Last month, Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg declared the law unconstitutional.

"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," Christie said in a statement at the time, the report says.

"These political appointees, who are the most lavishly paid public workers, with the richest lifetime benefits, have now had one of their own rule that they are above the law and should be treated preferentially."

He added, "We trust that the Supreme Court will reverse this ridiculous decision and find that judges should have to pay their fair share, just like every other public employee."

But Christie now fears the Court has decided to handle the case for its own benefit.

The governor pointed to Justice Virginia Long, who is presiding over the case and is getting close to the mandatory age of retirement.

"So why the rush?" he asked, according to the Star-Ledger.

"That type of manipulation of the judicial process would be awfully disconcerting to those of us who hold licenses to practice law in this state to think that kind of politics is going on in the court," he said.

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