TRENTON — The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a landmark 2011 law freezing cost-of-living adjustments for retired government workers, a decision that will slowly erode the value of pensions paid to 800,000 current and former public employees. The 6-1 ruling is a major legal victory for Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, which warned that restoring the… Read the rest of this entry »Posted: June 9th, 2016 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Jersey, News, NJ Judiciary, NJ Supreme Court | Tags: COLA, Cost of living adjustments, New Jersey Supreme Court, news, NJ Pension Crisis | Comments Off on N.J. Supreme Court hands Christie big win on pension COLAs
Sam Thompson: Judges suing to prevent having to make larger pension and healthcare contributions are making a “totally fallacious” argument
By Senator Samuel D. Thompson
In the case of DePascale vs. State of New Jersey just heard by the New Jersey State Supreme Court, it has been argued that a new law requiring Justices and Superior Court Judges to make larger contributions towards the cost of their healthcare insurance and pensions reduces their salary which is prohibited by the Constitution.
A section of the State Constitution reads: “The salary of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court Judges shall not be diminished during their term of office.”
Increasing the amount these esteemed judicial officials must pay to purchase healthcare insurance and pensions does diminish their purchasing power but does not diminish their salary.
If DePascles’ argument is sustained, then it could similarly be argued in the future that anything which diminishes these officials’ purchasing power (although not affecting their salary) would be in violation of the Constitution and hence, illegal. Note this section does not bar any diminishment of salary only action by the Sate.
Thus, following DePascales’ logic, should federal, state or local governmental entities increase income or property tax rates or Social Security or Medicare deductions, it would be equally valid to argue these actions would diminish the salary of these officials since such actions would diminish their purchasing power.
In fact, if the Court finds for the plaintiff in the cited case, one might even argue that when the price of gasoline, groceries, utilities or housing increases, it “diminishes their salary” in the same way as increasing the price of purchasing their health insurance and pension did. Consequently, one would conclude they should never have to pay a higher price for anything they purchase during their term of office.
Clearly, this argument is totally fallacious, was never the intent of the drafters of the constitution or the people that voted for its adoption and should be summarily dismissed.Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: NJ Courts, NJ Judiciary | Tags: DePascale Vs State of New Jersey, New Jersey Supreme Court, Sam Thompson | 1 Comment »
Where would he find one?
This morning InTheLobby calls on Governor Chris Christie to call the Democrats’ bluff regarding their resistance to his plan to remake New Jersey’s Supreme Court into judicial body that interprets the law and away from the destructive unaccountable body that has been legislating a liberal agenda from the bench over the last four decades by nominating a conservative Democrat to the bench.
Last week, after a charade of a hearing for Christie’s nominee to the Court, Phillip Kwon, Senate President Sweeney admitted that what the Democrats really want is a Court packed with Democrats.
By nominating a conservative Democrat, one who doesn’t believe in legislating from the bench, Christie would be calling the Democrats bluff, says InTheLobby.
Where would anyone find a conservative Democrat in New Jersey?
What about Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik?
Hornik tells every Republican he meets that he’s really a Republican. On his facebook page, Hornik apologizes for his Democratic registration. “Democrat, but the people matter the most,” is how Hornik describes his politics.
Hornik first got elected in Marlboro with the help of Republicans for Hornik. Members of the Marlboro Republican Committee remain supportive of the Mayor.
Is Hornik qualified? That would be up to Christie’s vetters and the Judiciary Committee to decide, assuming the Judiciary Committee cares about qualifications going forward. They clearly didn’t in Kwon’s case.
From a legal career and public service perspective, Hornik’s resume is not all that different from that of Bruce Harris, the Mayor of Chatham whose Supreme Court nomination is currently pending in the Senate. Both of specialize in real estate, finance and commercial transaction.
Hornick doesn’t have Harris’s academic pedigree. Harris went to Amherst, Boston University and Yale. Hornik went to University of Delaware and Brooklyn Law. University of Delaware is good. It’s better than Rowan. Governor Christie went to University of Delaware, so that might be good for Hornik. Brooklyn Law is no Yale, but Geraldo Rivera, Percy Sutton, David Dinkins, Larry Silverman, Sheldon Silver all graduated from Brooklyn.
What do you think MMM readers? Is Jon Hornik a conservative Democrat? Would he be an activist Justice or and interpretive Justice?Posted: March 27th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: NJ Courts, NJ Judiciary, NJ Supreme Court | Tags: Amherst, Boston University, Brooklyn Law, Bruce Harris, Governor Chris Christie, InTheLobby.net, Jon Hornik, New Jersey Supreme Court, Phillip Kwon, Scott Sipprelle, Steve Sweeney, University of Delaware, Yale | 5 Comments »
Steve Lonegan, Executive Director of the New Jersey Chapter of Americans for Prosperity and Governor Chris Christie’s opponent in the 2009 GOP gubernatorial primary, has come out in opposition to Christie’s nominees for the State Supreme Court.
Chatham Mayor Bruce Harris and First Assistant Attorney General Phillip Kwon were nominated by Christie in January. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled hearings on their nominations on March 22.
In a press release issue last night, Americans for Prosperity said that they expected to testify against the nominations and that it ” will be mobilizing its army of more than 60,000 citizen activists as part of its efforts to have impartial, originalist justices confirmed to the state’s highest court.”
“After careful review and consideration of these nominees, Americans for Prosperity cannot endorse their confirmation to the state’s highest court and will work to see that they are not confirmed by the state Senate,” Lonegan said.
“The governor was elected on the promise to change the makeup of the court by replacing activist justices with originalists who will interpret the law, not make law from the bench,” continued Lonegan, “and Americans for Prosperity was fully prepared to support him in achieving this goal.
“However, there is nothing in the backgrounds of either of these nominees to assure us that Mayor Harris or Mr. Kwon will practice judicial restraint and put a stop to this court’s endless usurpations of the powers of the other branches of government if seated on the Supreme Court.”
Posted: March 2nd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, NJ Supreme Court, Steve Lonegan | Tags: Americans For Prosperity, Bruce Harris, Chris Christie, New Jersey Supreme Court, Phillip Kwon, Steve Lonegan | 3 Comments »