I’m scratching my head about this question: don’t we have to follow the law? We pride ourselves in this country about being a nation of laws, not men. But it doesn’t seem as if New Jersey is paying much attention. We seem to believe in selective enforcement. If we don’t like a law, we ignore it or belittle it.
Take today’s newspaper stories about our governor blasting a judge for upholding New Jersey’s constitution regarding judges pay. “Greedy, ” he asserts [again]. I don’t know about you, but I consider my benefits as part of my pay. When we report compensation to appropriate agencies and my board, ‘benefits’ is part of the salary line in budgets.
Or then there is yesterday’s Joint Committee on the Public Schools hearing about QSAC. The law spells out a process for returning school districts to local control: Get 80% on the evaluation and get that part of the operation back. You’d think that the State of NJ would be delighted that Newark and Paterson have finally reached a high performance rating for governance. You’d think that the process of transition spelled out in law would begin. But no. The Commissioner refuses to follow the law.
So here we are, AGAIN. We have a law. We have an official who is not enforcing the law. We have to go back to court for relief. Newark is suing the state. Paterson is getting ready to sue the state. Sigh.
People can rail against the New Jersey Supreme Court all they like. But until our officials follow the law, we’ll be back in court. It seems to be the only way to get justice.