N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 12

Tuesday, June 24, 1947 (Morning session)


According to the Commission's proposal, the Governor was instructed to appoint the Chief Justice and six Associate Justices of the new Supreme Court from the persons then holding the offices of Chancellor, Chief Justice, Supreme Court Justices, Vice-Chancellors, Circuit Court Judges, and such lay Judges of the Court of Errors as were counsellors-at-law of ten years' standing. The remaining judicial officers enumerated and the Judges of the Courts of Common Pleas were to constitute the Justices of the Superior Court, each for the unexpired term of his original term. The part-time Common Pleas Judges in the 16 smaller counties were, however, to continue as part-time judges for the balance of their terms, at the salaries for which they were appointed. However, they were to be eligible for reappointment as full-time judges on the same basis as all other Superior Court Justices.

These are the principal points in the Judicial Article proposed by the Commission on Revision in 1942. You will find that in the main they were adopted by the Legislature in the Constitution prepared by it in 1944. I urge them now for your consideration.

I am terribly sorry, Mr. Chairman, that I haven't a sufficient number of copies of the Revision Commission Report to go around. I searched all through the State House, the Library, in my office in Woodbury, and in my office in Trenton. I found this one office copy which I will gladly leave with the Commission. I also found two copies of the Revised Constitution prepared by the Legislature for submission in the General Election of 1944.1 The Judicial Article of each draft, as well as the section of the Schedule relating to the Judiciary, appear in the Appendix to these Committee Proceedings.

I shall be glad, if the Committee has time, to answer any questions which might be asked.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Do any members of the Committee have any questions to ask of Mr. Hendrickson?

MR. GEORGE F. SMITH: You made reference, Mr. Hendrickson, to the plan that in the event of more than a two months' delay in the disposition of an appeal after it was perfected, that fact was to be certified to the Governor who would appoint a special court of five justices to assist in that situation. There is some confusion in my mind as to whether that contemplated the lifting of delayed appeals from the Supreme Court and assigning them to another court, or whether they would come under another group.

MR. HENDRICKSON: Those five judges would, under our plan, come from the Superior Court Justices.

MR. SMITH: Would they hear other appeals, or was it contemplated they should just take over appeals that were delayed?

MR. HENDRICKSON: That is contemplated. I am quite sure

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