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Separation of powers? Nah, we don't have that. Chris Christie and the NJ state legislature approved sweeping pension and health benefit reforms. It meant that for the first time all public employees had to contribute toward the cost of their benefit plans.
Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale challenged the state in court, saying the benefit payments were an "unconstitutional" reduction in his state salary.
Because God Forbid a judge should take a cut in pay. Or contribute toward his gold-plated benefits package. At $175,000 per year they need every dime they can squirrel away.
To almost no one's surprise, another judge agreed with him.
And then the State Supreme Court said they'd rule next, bypassing the Appellate Division, since the matter was so pressing.
Yeah, every other state employee ponied up, but judges are special.
And today the Grand Poobahs of the NJ State Supreme Court decreed that yes indeed they are quite special. So special that they are exempt from a law which explicitly requires "all state employees" to make a contribution toward their health and pension benefits.
The court said making judges contribute more for their benefits constitutes a pay cut, and that the state constitution forbids the other branches from reducing judges' salaries to make sure they are not punished for making unpopular decisions.
What if we reduce their benefits? Perhaps to Death Panel HMO and Madoff Retirement Services? Because these elitist hacks need a reality check. A judge challenges the legislature and the governor and, here's a shocker, other judges say he's in the right. Ignore our elected representatives. Ignore our elected governor. One judge washes the back of the others, and they all fall in line.
Unelected judges, decreeing special favors for themselves. That's the America I love. Uh, huh.
The inmates are running the asylum! And the NJ State Supreme Court has beclowned itself yet again.
Fortunately a bipartisan move is afoot to change the State Constitution.
They are seeking a measure that would give them the authority to amend judicial salaries for taking contributions from justices' and certain judges' salaries for employee benefits. The Constitution, written in 1947, prohibits the salaries of Superior Court judges and Supreme Court justices from being "diminished" while they are on the bench.
I'd go one better. Amend the constitution to remove judges from the state pension and health benefit systems altogether. Let the ungrateful assholes buy their medical insurance and retirement plans on the open market just like the majority of us taxpayers are forced to do by Obamacare. We won't reduce their precious salaries by even one dollar; they'll just have to write a big fat check every month or risk financial ruin if they get sick.
These turkeys believe the State Constitution makes them special. How about we show them just how special we think they are.
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