According to an nj.com story:
Appealing first to the appellate court will give Christie two bites at the apple, said Matthew Hale, a political science professor at Seton Hall University. He added that the longer and harder Christie fights this, the better he looks to presidential primary voters in Iowa.
“He wants to play this out as long as he can,” Hale said.
So if Iowa voters were less attracted to law-breaking procrastinators then New Jersey might not be facing fiscal fiasco?