TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been at odds with the state Supreme Court in recent years, called Justice Barry Albin a "grandstander" earlier this week, following the justice's speech at a state bar conference.

According to The Star-Ledger, Albin spoke at the New Jersey State Bar Association's annual conference Friday in Atlantic City.

Organizers said the justice was asked to speak on the topic of judicial independence, the conference's theme this year.

During his 20-minute speech, Albin urged the public, particularly attorneys and retired judges, to speak out against officials who threaten to retaliate for unpopular rulings, according to the Star-Ledger.

The justice did not name Christie by name, but the governor apparently took issue with Albin's remarks.

"He can say, as far as I'm concerned, whatever he wants to say," Christie told the newspaper Monday. "He can be as wrong as loudly as he wants to be. But it's interesting that they pick and choose when it's appropriate for them to be speaking out on things and they get to be judge and jury on that."

He continued, "It's very interesting. But, you know, Justice Albin... went down to the bar association and played to the cheap seats like the grandstander that he is. So, he can do what he wants to do."

In 2011, Christie fumed over the state high court's decision to take up a case over how much public employees, including judges, should contribute to their insurance and pensions.

He was even more angry when the court ultimately ruled last July that state lawmakers were barred from increasing judge's pension contributions.

In the end, voters approved a ballot question in November permitting lawmakers to force judges to pay more toward their benefits.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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