A New Jersey Appeals Court has reversed the dissolution of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) by Governor Christie. The Thursday ruling may have wider implications, notably on the controversial and quasi sinister attempt from the part of the Governor to force the merger of Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University.
Rutgers-Camden hates the idea; Rowan loves it.
The separation of powers is Government 1.1. Governor Christie has been pushing the line. That effort may have come to an end now although the Governor’s Office has indicated that it plans to appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Governor Chrisitie should know better but arrogance is a bad counselor.
I know better. It is my most fervent hope that the NJSC will uphold the ruling of the lower court, even if that also has implications for the reforms I propose if I am elected governor in 2013.
As far as the merits in the COAH affair, I must confess I am not sure. If COAH is in existence in 2014 and I take office, we will look at it. The same goes for the proposed Rutgers-Rowan shotgun marriage. The latter has generated so much opposition that I doubt it would be beneficial for New Jersey under any circumstances. But these are decisions which do not appear to be in the purview of the Governor’s Office.
The appeals court judge said that the N.J. Constitution has shielded functions and agencies from gubernatorial control and that the governor exceeded his authority. COAH is strictly a Legislature creature. That suits me just fine.