N.J.'s top court reverses lower court rejection of Christie's pension funding cuts

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N.J.'s top court reverses lower court rejection of Christie's pension funding cuts
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, speaks during the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. The talent show that is a presidential campaign began in earnest Saturday as more than 1,200 Republican activists, who probably will vote in Iowa's caucuses, packed into a historic Des Moines theater to see and hear from a parade of their party's prospective entries. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie has formed a new political action committee to enable him to raise money for a potential 2016 presidential bid. WSJ's Heather Haddon has more.
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, speaks during the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. The talent show that is a presidential campaign began in earnest Saturday as more than 1,200 Republican activists, who probably will vote in Iowa's caucuses, packed into a historic Des Moines theater to see and hear from a parade of their party's prospective entries. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 24: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The summit is hosting a group of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates to discuss core conservative principles ahead of the January 2016 Iowa Caucuses. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shakes hands with audience members before the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shakes hands with audience members before the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shakes hands with audience members after the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shakes hands with audience members after the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (L) after speaking to US troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, December 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
MENDHAM TWP., NJ - NOVEMBER 04: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie emerges from a voting machine after casting his vote, November 4, 2014 at the Emergency Services Building in Mendham, Twp., New Jersey. All 12 of N.J.'s House seats are up for grabs today. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie poses for a picture with students of Saint Rose Hight School during a visit to Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat pose for a picture with students of Saint Rose Hight School during a visit to Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat pose for a picture with workers of Pasoh Salon during a visit to Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at an event in Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at an event in Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat attend an event in Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: A man shots slogans to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie while speaks to the audience during a public event in Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: A man is removed by security guards while he shots slogans to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during a public event in Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during a visit to Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat pose for a picture with a baby while they visit Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie walks next to Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Richard Weited watch as Weited's granddaughter (not pictured) walks up as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with Richard Weited and his wife Valerie, the owners of East Dover marina, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie poses for a picture with Richard Weited (R), owner of East Dover marina and Mike Greiseh (L), two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shake hands with Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie walks next to Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie walks next to Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) poses for photographs with customers during a campaign stop with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) campaigns with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (L) at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan pose for a 'selfie' with a supporter during a campaign event at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) poses for photographs during a campaign stop with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (2nd L) hears from a supporter during a campaign stop with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (L) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie say their goodbyes after a campaign stop at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (2nd L) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (2nd R) greet customers during a campaign stop at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (L) pose for photographs with a Honey Bee Diner employee during a campaign stop October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) pose for photographs with customers during a campaign stop at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens closely to a supporter while campaigning with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (2nd L) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (3rd L) talk with customers at the Honey Bee Diner during a campaign stop October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens closely to a supporter while campaigning with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) campaigns with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) outside the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signs the cover of a copy of Time magazine while campaigning with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (L) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan arrive for a campaign event at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (L) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) pose for a 'selfie' with a supporter during a campaign stop at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CLIVE, IA - OCTOBER 25: Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) stands in front of a huge cup cake display at his Birthday Bash, Saturday October 25, 2014 in Clive, Iowa. Already distinguished as the states longest -serving governor, Branstad would become the longest -serving governor in U.S. history, were he to win the November 4th election. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
CLIVE, IA - OCTOBER 25: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) attends a Birthday Bash for Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) October 25, 2014 in Clive, Iowa. Already distinguished as the states longest -serving governor, Branstad would become the longest -serving governor in U.S. history, were he to win the November 4th election. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
CLIVE, IA - OCTOBER 25: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) attends a Birthday Bash for Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) October 25, 2014 in Clive, Iowa. Already distinguished as the states longest -serving governor, Branstad would become the longest -serving governor in U.S. history, were he to win the November 4th election. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
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New Jersey's highest court on Tuesday cleared the way for Gov. Chris Christie to cut $1.57 billion from state pension funding, a move that could bolster the Republican's presidential hopes but still leave the state with fiscal struggles ahead.

The court, in reversing a lower court ruling, said while it laments the "staggering" loss of public trust resulting from broken promises, the pension payment at issue was not a contractual obligation entitled to constitutional protection.


Christie cut a $1.6 billion state contribution to the public pension system last year because of a revenue shortfall. The state's pension system has about $83 billion of unfunded liabilities and was funded at only about 44 percent in fiscal 2014.

The stakes were high for Christie, who has trailed in polls behind rivals such as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a fellow Republican. The governor's representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Christie is battling to improve his record on the economy in his own state, where he has come under fire for his handling of the state's sluggish recovery, as well as a scandal around the 2013 George Washington Bridge closure, which saw a former ally plead guilty to federal charges.

"This will be a much-celebrated victory after a year and a half of bad headlines," said Tim Albrecht, a Des Moines, Iowa, Republican strategist. "The question is, will a lone victory be enough or will Chris Christie be able to parlay this into something bigger."

The Supreme Court voted to reverse the lower court ruling by five votes to two.

(Reporting by Megan Davies and Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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