Kean criticizes state Supreme Court for legislating from bench in Abbott decision

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr., (R-21), Union, blasted the state Supreme Court today for essentially legislating from the bench in the Abbott ruling.

“The unelected justices of the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a ruling today that created law from the bench despite having no constitutional authority to do so,” he said in a release. “In so doing, they have thumbed their noses at the residents of the state who elected a Governor and a Legislature to make these policy decisions as is prescribed by the state constitution.”

“The Court is wrong. A thorough and efficient system of education is not solely contingent on dollars, but requires significant reforms to make those dollars work better for students: rewarding excellent teachers for merit rather than longevity, reforming tenure to more easily and quickly remove ineffective educators from the classroom, and capping superintendent salaries to rein in administrative costs. Quality education is about holding the system accountable for student outcomes, and we should not turn to spending as a remedy until accountability measures are put in place.”

The court ruled 3-2 that the state must pay $500 million toward the 31 former Abbott districts.

“The Court’s ruling fails disadvantaged students by continuing a decades-old legal theory that, since its inception, has not measurably improved the poor graduation rates and test scores of chronically failing school districts,” Kean said.

“Republicans have been clear: we will not raise taxes on the most highly taxed people in America to pay for another wrongheaded decision by the Supreme Court. The state’s tax burden has, according to census figures released today, cost our state another 190, 000 residents in 2009. The Legislative Majority needs to put its cards on the table and come forward with ideas on how to address this ruling.”

"Historically, the media has had two caricatures of Republicans. We are either stupid or evil."
—U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)