TRENTON – The Christie administration’s bid to stay an earlier court ruling in favor of judges’ opposition to pension and benefit reform has been turned back.
The Superior Court ruled that the Attorney General has not established that irreparable harm would result if a stay is not granted.
Earlier this month, the court ruled in favor of a suit brought by Hudson County Judge Paul DePascale who argued that the state Constitution prevented adjustments to sitting judges’ salary and that the provision extends to benefits.
Gov. Christie promised an appeal, and in addition has been calling for the Legislature to act so that a proposed constitutional amendment could be placed before voters next month to establish the principle that salary does not include other compensation.
Judge Linda Feinberg had ruled that the pension and benefits overhaul enacted over the summer could not be implemented against Superior and Supreme Court judges.
In seeking a stay of her ruling, the state argued that any time a court blocks a statute adopted by representatives of the voters, there is irreparable harm.
However, the court today ruled that among other things, the state has a remedy if it eventually wins the case, including additional deductions over time for the increased pension contributions the overhaul calls for.