Gov. Chris Christie says if the Legislature is successful in putting a constitutional amendment question on the November ballot regarding judicial pensions that he will campaign on the issue.
The governor blasted “liberal activist courts” like the state’s Supreme Court, which ruled 3-2 today in favor of upholding a lower court’s decision dealing with the state’s landmark overhaul of pension and benefit contributions for judges. Christie, speaking on 101.5 FM, said he strongly disagrees with the court’s majority opinion that said judicial pensions for sitting judges are protected under the state Constitution.
“This is what drives people crazy about liberal activist courts,” said Christie, arguing that compensation and salary are two different things.
Christie expressed delight over “very supportive statements (made) today from Senator Sweeney and Speaker Oliver,” which call for a constitutional amendment that would clarify the Legislature’s authority to pass laws regarding taking contributions from justices’ and certain judges’ salaries for employee benefits.
The Legislature must vote on the proposed amendment – which needs a three-fifths majority vote, 24 in the Senate and 48 in the Assembly, to appear on the ballot – by Aug. 2.
“I hope the Senate president and the speaker mean what they say,” Christie said, adding, “I will campaign for it in the fall so the voters know what the issue is.”