(Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration on Tuesday sought to take its argument about public pension funding directly to the state's highest court, saying it is the first case of its kind in the state with billions of dollars at stake.
The administration is defending Christie's decision to strip $1.6 billion from the state's 2015 contribution into its public employee retirement system.
Labor unions sued after Christie reduced the contributions last year because of a huge revenue shortfall. The unions won, with Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruling that bi-partisan reforms in 2011 specifically mandated full contributions as a contractual right.
Through a spokesman, Christie, a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, had vowed to appeal.
In a briefs filed on Tuesday seeking to take appeal directly to the New Jersey Supreme Court, the state Attorney General's office said that the lower court "fabricated a constitutional right to pension funding and effected a wholesale reordering of the state's constitutionally enshrined fiscal process."