NJ Columnist Sees Politics Behind Referendum on Judicial Salaries


Columnist Bob Braun of the Newark Star-Ledger expects the worst in a referendum on judicial salaries this fall. He writes, “For the first time in the state's modern history, the New Jersey Supreme Court — an institution meant to be isolated from politics — will be subjected to a popular referendum reeking of politics. The court's chances of winning are none to slim, he says, because there is no constituency.

Braun writes, “The Legislature reacted swiftly and angrily to a long, detailed, and thoughtful decision by the court that ruled efforts to reduce the compensation of sitting, tenured judges by requiring increased contributions to pensions to be unconstitutional. The court noted its view was backed by history, federal constitutional law, and the decisions of other states — because the most effective way politicians have of attacking the judiciary for political reasons is to starve it and judges of money.”

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