Independent Courts

In this hyper-partisan era it is more important than ever that New Jersey have an independent and diverse court that will interpret the law, take the long view, and not bow to political pressures of any one administration.  The New Jersey Supreme Court should not exist simply to rubber stamp one particular set of political ideologies and policies.

Governor Christie has attempted to make the Court more partisan and more divided than it has been in modern New Jersey history by inappropriately influencing the work of the court.  In 2010 Governor Christie chose not to reappoint Justice John Wallace Jr., a Democrat.  In the history of New Jersey, no Governor has ever made the decision not to reappoint a sitting Justice of the Supreme Court. This policy has served to insulate Justices from fear of political repercussions from their decisions. Past Governors, Democratic and Republican alike, recognized that stability of the Court serves the public interest and keeps political interference at bay.  And in a Wall Street Journal article appearing early last year, Governor Christie asserted that he would only appoint judges to the NJ Supreme Court who shared his opposition to the Abbott school funding decision.  These sorts of political litmus tests are not compatible with a healthy democracy that requires that the Court be independent and separate, in order to be the check and balance on the other branches of state government that the state Constitution requires.

New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund educated the media and the public on Governor Christie’s attempts to stack the court in 2012 (which were successfully blocked), and the independence of the Court has been preserved for the time being. It is reassuring that other rights New Jerseyans enjoy today cannot be overturned on the whim of one Governor based purely on his political ideology.

However, there is more work to be done. Under the Christie’s Governorship, every non-tenured Justice has to worry if his or her decisions could put him or her in disfavor with the Governor, and lead to his or her ousting.  As Chief Justice Rabner said in a statement criticizing Governor Christie’s decision not to reappoint Justice Wallace, “Citizens who turn to the courts for relief are entitled to have their cases resolved by impartial judges who focus only on the evenhanded pursuit of justice; litigants should never have to worry that a judge may be more concerned about how a decision could affect his or her reappointment.”

For more information contact Ann Vardeman at


New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund is monitoring the Coronavirus situation and following the guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and various US state and local government entities. Our first priority is the health and well-being of those individuals with whom we work and serve. Therefore, effective immediately our staff will be working remotely and will provide services over the phone. To find a complete list of our staff, programs and services, click here.

For loan counseling and financial coaching clients your application process will remain the same. One-on-one sessions will be provided via telephone and video conferencing. For questions about healthcare enrollment or the Census, call (973) 643-8800, extension 210. For any other information please visit our website at for updates or leave a message in the general mailbox and it will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member. Thank you and stay well!

New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund (NJCAEF)



New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund está monitoreando la situación del Coronavirus y siguiendo la guía establecida por los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, la Organización Mundial de la Salud y varias entidades gubernamentales estatales y locales de los Estados Unidos. Nuestra prioridad es la salud y el bienestar de las personas con quienes trabajamos y servimos. Por lo tanto, con efectividad inmediata, nuestro personal trabajará de manera remota y brindará servicios por teléfono. Para encontrar una lista completa de nuestro personal, programas y servicios, haga clic acquí.  

Para los clientes de asesoría de préstamos y asesoramiento financiero, su proceso de solicitud seguirá siendo el mismo. Se proporcionarán sesiones individuales por teléfono y videoconferencia. Para preguntas sobre la inscripción de atención médica o el Censo, llame al (973) 643-8800, y marque la extensión 210. Para cualquier otra información, visite nuestro sitio web en para actualizaciones o para dejar un mensaje en el buzón general y será enviado al personal correspondiente.

Gracias y manténgase seguro!

New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund (NJCAEF)