The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a major piece of Gov. Chris Christie’s cost-cutting was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to raise spending for poor, urban schools by $500 million next year, despite a state budget shortfall estimated at $10 billion.
The decision is a new milestone in the intertwined disputes over school financing, taxation and the role of the courts that have roiled the state’s politics since the 1970s. And those disputes remain; the ruling intensifies Mr. Christie’s running battles with the Supreme Court and the Legislature, and it will resonate in the coming negotiations to balance the budget, negotiate new contracts with state workers and rescue the government employee pension plans.
The majority in the 3-to-2 decision accused the state of willfully violating previous Supreme Court orders in the long-running school-aid case under review.
“Like anyone else, the state is not free to walk away from judicial orders enforcing constitutional obligations,” Justice Jaynee LaVecchia wrote in the ruling. She added that “the state made a conscious and calculated decision” to renege on the commitment it made two years ago, the last time the case, Abbott v. Burke, went before the court. . . .
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Bully Lawbreaker, Chris Christie, Reeled in By NJ Supreme Court
And yes, they had a whopper on the line with this loud-mouthed poster boy of the privileged. From the NYTimes: