This amendment clarifies the Legislature's authority to pass laws requiring contributions be taken from the salaries of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court Judges for their employee benefits. These benefits include their pension and health care coverage.
The amendment responds to a question raised in a 2011 lawsuit filed by a judge after the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law P.L.2011, c.78. That law increased the contributions taken from current and future justices' and judges' salaries for their benefits, starting in October 2011. The lawsuit, which was appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court, argued against taking the higher contributions from currently appointed justices and judges, citing language in the Constitution that their salaries cannot be reduced during their appointed terms.
The amendment clarifies that such contributions, set by law, may be taken from justices' and judges' salaries during their terms. It would also allow for the higher contributions set by P.L.2011, c.78 to be deducted from current and future justices' and judges' salaries.
Do you approve an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, as agreed to by the Legislature, to allow contributions set by law to be taken from the salaries of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court Judges for their employee benefits?
( ) Yes
( ) No