Resolution targets constitutional protection of judicial salaries

TRENTON – A lawmaker has introduced a measure that would eliminate the prohibition against reducing a sitting judge’s salary.

Assemblyman Sam Thompson, (R-13), Matawan, introduced ACR210, which seeks to amend the state Constitution, removing the provision that protects judicial salaries from being diminished.

The issue is one of the focal points of the ongoing court battle over pension and benefits reform and how it affects judges.

The Superior Court earlier sided with a lawsuit filed by a Hudson County judge that argued judges were immune from the effects of the reform because of the constitutional protection.

The state appealed that ruling, and the Supreme Court has agreed to an expedited consideration of the issue.

Thompson’s resolution states: “This proposed amendment to the New Jersey Constitution would eliminate from Article VI, Section VI, paragraph 6 a provision that prohibits diminishing a Justice’s or Judge’s salary during the Justice’s or Judge’s term of appointment.

“Judicial salaries would continue to be established by statute. Additionally, this proposed amendment would not affect the restriction against a Justice or Judge engaging in the practice of law or other gainful pursuit while in office.”

Eventually, the proposed amendment would have to go before the voters.

Previous coverage:

Court denies state’s motion to stay ruling in DePascale case

Resolution targets constitutional protection of judicial salaries