By John Ostapkovich

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The New Jersey Supreme Court today heard arguments on whether the Christie administration can reorganize an independent agency into being less independent.

The dispute involves the Council on Affordable Housing, created to comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act as being “in but not of” the Department of Community Affairs.

Arguing for the administration was assistant attorney general Robert Lougy.

“The plain language of the Reorganization Act, and its broad grant of authority to the governor to reorganize his branch of government, has for 40 years been understood and been implemented consistent with the governor’s authority to reorganize an in-but-not-of agency,” Lougy told the court.

Countering was Adam Gordon for the Fair Share Housing Center, who says the administration is overreaching.

“This wasn’t rearranging — this was rewriting legislation.  This was rewriting core parts of the Fair Housing Act,” he said.

The court will rule later.