N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 177

Wednesday, July 2, 1947 (Morning session)

experience with the King's courts in old colonial days, when they all felt - with the law as interpreted by the governors and by the King's officers sent over here - that there was not justice. It seems to me that -

JUDGE BRENNAN: There is no question -

MR. DIXON: In reading the history of the Constitution I gathered that there were two things the people equally feared. One was the military - they didn't want this government to fall into the hands of the military - and the other was the courts. They feared, as the Justice pointed out, and they put these laymen on the court to guard against abuse of the courts. At the same time, they arranged for the military, the militia, to have all the officers elected by men instead of appointed by the Crown, or by the government.

JUDGE BRENNAN: There is no question; it was generated by actual experience.

MR. DIXON: Well, now, I think our experience has shown, from the standpoint of the court, that we don't want this court with the laymen on, and I think there is agreement on that. But there is a feeling, I think, that we ought to put up a framework within which both the court and the Legislature could work, so that they don't infringe on each other's powers, so that the judiciary can't make legislation and so that the Legislature can't intrude themselves on the judiciary.

JUDGE BRENNAN: You have, too, the corrective power which they didn't have in colonial days, the fourth estate. The press is a great power and extremely vocal, and that tends to prevent some abuses that I think were feared by those of colonial days. Their fears were based on the experience that stems from the agression and prohibition of the time, as translated through the colonial governors, and was even enforced in certain states by the mandate of the churches, as in early Virginia. Isn't that true?

MR. DIXON: That's right, yes. They were afraid of the church, they were afraid of the ecclesiastical court.

MR. SMITH: Judge Brennan, you indicated that you studied the proposed 1944 revision very carefully. Are there features in that proposed revision that you would change?

JUDGE BRENNAN: I can't make a comparison because I haven't studied this one. You can't make a comparison without seeing at least the theoretical text of the new set-up.

MR. BROGAN: No, but is there anything in that revision that you think could be improved upon?

JUDGE BRENNAN: In the old one?

MR. BROGAN: Yes, the 1844, and I also mean 1944.

JUDGE BRENNAN: This I gather from Camden circuit. You remember the Pleas - and I thought it was good - the Pleas was

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