N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 164

STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

Wednesday, July 2, 1947 (Morning session)

(The session began at 10:00 A. M.)

The fifth meeting of the Committee on the Judiciary was held in Room 202, Rutgers University Gymnasium, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

PRESENT: Brogan, Dixon, Drenk, Jacobs, McGrath, McMurray, Miller, G. W., Peterson, H. W., Smith, G. F., and Sommer.

Vice-Chairman Jacobs presided at the request of Chairman Sommer.

VICE-CHAIRMAN NATHAN L. JACOBS: We have invited Judge Brennan of the Essex Circuit to let us have his views with respect to the proposed Judicial Article of the Constitution.

JUDGE DANIEL J. BRENNAN: I don't know whether my appearance here is an intrusion or not, but my viewpoint hasn't changed on the Judicial Article. I spoke on the subject some years ago before the State Bar Association and, apparently, I got to the meeting at night, late, as I usually do, and knew nothing about the action which the State Bar Association had taken in the afternoon. They had gone on record against the then proposed changes which are now a matter of, unfortunately, history.

I have felt for a very long while, as many others have, that certainly the court of last resort is an anachronism, that our judicial structure has changed very little from the time of its institution. If my recollection serves me clearly, it goes back to the early 18th Century. I think we need an integrated court, and I thought so, as I have said, for a number of years. The structure, for want of a better term, the architecture of it is a matter for projection by you men who are older than I, wiser I am sure, and who have been able to spend a great deal more time in actual implementation for the past few weeks, because I have been travelling the circuit - I have just come up from Camden.

There always seems to be, I suppose, the inclusion of the personal. If one has the idea my viewpoint is personal, it isn't. It isn't directed toward anybody; it is directed towards what I think is a system that needs changing. I think it was Emerson who said, "we revere the statute," and he said as well, "so much of life as there is in it is its virtue."

I think, if that is true of the adjective law, it is true as well of


Previous Page in Book ********* Table of Contents *********** Next Page in Book