[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday declined to rule [order list, PDF] on a challenge to New Jersey's pension reforms filed on behalf on public employees of New Jersey, including teachers and state troopers. The suit was originally filed in New Jersey state court and argued that the state government is statutorily obligated to fully contribute to state pension funds. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled last June that the state did not have to make payments into the pension system, and plaintiffs appealed [cert. petition, PDF]. Monday's decision allows that ruling to stand.
The lawsuit was filed in 2014 when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie [official website] cut funding to a state pension plan. The state-wide pension plan had been subject to reforms in 2011 [materials] and it was established that both the state government and private individuals would increase payment into the fund for seven years until it reached the amount that was economically healthy. In 2014 Christie cut back [Law360 report] on the amount that the state was contributing to the fund, declaring that the state legislature could not unilaterally dedicated millions of the state&'s dollars.