N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 101


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Tuesday, July 1, 1947 (Morning session)

be appreciated if you will address your remarks to the microphone.

DEAN POUND: In that case, I will have to be extremely careful. This recalls to my mind an incident that happened some years ago, when I appeared before the Wisconsin Bar Association. They had a stenographer to record the speech, and I was assured that the stenographer was 100% perfect, and that I didn't need to bother looking at his transcript. It would come out exactly as I had said it. At one point I said, "These things do not happen in a vacuum," but when I came to read the report it said this: "These things do not happen in back rooms."

(Laughter)

Now, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I think, perhaps by way of explanation of the method that I have in mind to employ, I might tell you about an occasion on which, when I was in the practice, by appointment of the County Commissioners I sat for a time on a statutory board, the statutory name of which was the Board of Insane Commissioners.

(Laughter)

The legislative language ran: "and it shall be further the duty of the said Insane Board to ..."

(Laughter)

Well, while I was sitting as an Insane Commissioner on the Insane Board, we had before us a retired clergyman who was in an insane hospital. Aside from that, it was a very sane meeting in every respect. The circumstances which led to his appearing before us was that on the Sunday before he had thrown a hatchet at his daughter, which didn't seem in keeping with his clerical profession and his general appearance, solemnity, courtesy, and so on. Because of the embarrassing circumstances in which both he and the Commissioners found themselves, an inquiry was made into his sanity. So I asked him if it was true that he had thrown a hatchet at his daughter, and he said, "Yes, it was true, I did." I said, perhaps you will tell us how you came to do it. He said, "Certainly, gentlemen, she was in my pathway." I said, "The affidavit seems to show that you were behind her all the time." "That's quite right, gentlemen, she was, but I have two pathways, one coming and one going."

(Laughter)

Now, there is a moral in what he said there. To understand almost anything, we have got to understand the coming pathway, that comes down to us and leads to the situation which we are considering today; and then we are in a position to consider the going pathway, that goes out from us, that largely is to be predicted, after all, by the coming pathway, by the course it has taken. And that


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