N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 211

Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Morning session)

bench, those men should be guaranteed some permanence in their position - I think that argument also applies against the probationary period. If a man gives up his practice for six or seven years, it is just as hard to get back into it as if he had given it up for six or seven years and then is removed.

JUSTICE COLIE: I agree. I think you put your finger on the nub of the question, so far as the probationary period is concerned. That was a weakness in New Jersey.

MR. DIXON: Do you have a suggestion, Justice Colie, for a definite thing? You spoke of this committee in New York - does it propose to the Chief Justice, and what is the make-up of that committee? Would they hold public hearings or would they decide in chambers?

JUSTICE COLIE: No. Now, I'm not too clear about this. The details I don't have in mind, but none of their hearings, as I recall the statute or the constitutional amendment, or whatever it was - none of the hearings would be private hearings.

MR. DIXON: Have you any suggestions of your own as to how that removal might be accomplished, other than this following of New York at present?

JUSTICE COLIE: No, sir, I do not. I do not approve of impeachment, for the simple reason that it is far too cumbersome, and if the necessity for removal arises, it must be done, and done promptly.

MR. DIXON: Impeachment merely covers misconduct in office. And you feel it is just as important, I take it, if a man becomes disabled - either mentally or physically crosses that intangible line where it is felt he is not suitable for the position - that's the crux - that you would like to see an arrangement made for removal.

JUSTICE COLIE: I would indeed.

MR. DIXON: And yet so circumscribed, of course, that injustice couldn't be done.


VICE-CHAIRMAN: Would you see any merit in leaving the procedure of removal to the Legislature?

JUSTICE COLIE: I wouldn't.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: You want it in the Constitution?

JUSTICE COLIE: Oh, no, I misunderstood you. I would have no hesitancy in leaving that to the Legislature. In fact, I would leave everything to the Legislature that I possibly could.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: So in answer to the last question, you might, in considering the constitutional provision, permit the establishment by law of some uniform method of retirement.

MR. BROGAN: Had you given any thought to the provision as to which court, outside of the court of last resort, should be a con-

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