Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New York’s Judges RULE for HIGHER PAY...For THEMselves!...

You’ve gotta love this!

It’s an “Only in New York,” kind of deal. Last Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 a State Supreme Court justice ruled that Governor Paterson and the State Legislature must give pay raises to state judges within 90 days, in response by a suit brought forth from four NY State judges, separate from a similar lawsuit brought by New York’s Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye this past April.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner (pictured above and to the left of Ed Koch) - who was assigned both cases - ruled the state's executive and legislative branches "unconstitutionally abused their power by depriving the judiciary of any increase in compensation for almost a decade" and that their practice of linking judicial salary hikes to raises for legislators was illegal.

Judge Lehner ordered the state to raise judicial pay to reflect cost-of-living increases since 1998, which the four judges claim should produce a raise to $175,264 as of last year. They currently are paid $136,700.

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye's (who’d brought a similar siuit last year) lawyer, Bernard W. Nussbaum, said in a June 11 phone interview, "We are pleased with Judge Lehner's thoughtful decision, and we now trust that the Governor and the Legislature will do the right thing."

Really!? Somehow, that’s not surprising at all, given the personal gain involved and all.

Only a day earlier, however, the lawyer representing both Governor Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver submitted a brief in the Kaye lawsuit questioning whether state judges were truly underpaid.

Attorney Richard H. Dolan, who was retained after State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, whose office normally represents the state, recused himself because of a possible conflict of interest, since he also has dealings with the judiciary - contended that once fringe benefits and pensions were included, judges' total compensation was as much as $162,900 a year.

He also cited two previous instances, one between 1887 and 1926, the other between 1952 and 1975, when judicial pay was frozen for significantly longer periods than at present.

WoW! No wonder judges, legislators and other politicos don’t need Unions...apparently they can simply raise their own salaries (at OUR expense) any time they want!


WomanHonorThyself said...

o gosh what a great but sickening find my friend!...judges..sigh

heidianne jackson said...

i saw this yesterday, jmk, and i thought you might be posting on this. i'm not clear how this will end as the judges have no power to do what they've done, but i believe they can make things really miserable for the legislature (and all new yorkers) before it's all over...

heidianne jackson

JMK said...

It's an a,azing event Angel and proof of what rampant Liberalism run amok can do - NY, NJ and Conn are three overwhelmingly Democratic States that have suffered greatly for that preference.

JMK said...

Well, Heidianne, they've managed to get one of their own to rule in their favor and embarrass the legislature, although the fact that with benefits, NY Judges already make over $160,000/year and that they've gone longer periods without a raise are certainly cracks in their argument.

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