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Christie Questions Justices’ Motives on Pension Case

Governor Chris Christie, with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, announces the nomination of Robert Hanna, currently the Director of the Division of Law in the Department of Law and Public Safety, to succeed Lee Solomon as the next President of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) during a press conference at the Statehouse (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie questioned the motive of two state Supreme Court justices Thursday after the court agreed to fast-track a case about how much judges should contribute to their health insurance and pensions.

The state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case without it first going before an appeals court.

The governor insinuated the justice who issued the order, Virginia Long, had a personal stake in the case because she will be required by law to retire in March.

Christie also questioned why Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner recused himself from the case, calling it “mystifying.”

Court spokeswoman Tamara Kendig says judges don’t normally issue public reasons for recusing themselves from cases.

The case stems from a new law that requires all public employees to contribute a greater share toward their health and pension benefits.

A Superior Court judge sued to overturn it.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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