Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

N.J. Court Rejects Civil Service Changes for Public Workers

A New Jersey appeals court Thursday struck down controversial changes Gov. Chris Christie's administration made to the state's civil service system -- the latest development in a years-long battle over the rules governing how thousands of public workers are promoted.

In a defeat for Gov. Christie’s administration, an appeals court ruled on Thursday that he could not scrap exam requirements for hiring or promoting career public workers in state government.

For the first time in New Jersey, the court also ruled that the legislature has a "legislative veto" -- the power to strike down any regulations adopted by the executive branch if they defy "legislative intent."
Christie fought for years to end the exams and rewrite the Civil Service Commission’s rules for appointments and promotions, arguing his changes would make government more efficient. Democratic lawmakers and two labor unions said the merit-based exams were necessary to prevent rampant cronyism, patronage, discrimination, political coercion and retribution in the workforce.
A three-judge panel ruled on Thursday that the Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, acted legally when it voted to strike down the Civil Service Commission’s regulatory changes that scrapped the exams.
Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.
Special Projects