N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 22


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Tuesday, June 24, 1947 (Morning session)


Transition

meetings - these proposals which we now make to you. And while they had their genesis in 1944, they were voted on by separate polls in the separate organizations - each organization by itself in accordance with its constitution and by-laws - and they pledged themselves to those proposals. It was not something that was evolved at secret meetings with limited attendance by one or two of the delegates of the various organizations, but was evolved from the central body and was then considered by the separate organizations.

MR. DIXON: Thank you, Mr. Le Duc.

MR. McGRATH: I move that the thanks of this Committee be given to Mr. Le Duc.

MR. PETERSON: I second the motion.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Any further questions? Mr. Smith.

MR. SMITH: Mr. Le Duc, did I understand you correctly - your proposal with respect to tenure was for a seven-year trial period, with specific qualifications?

MR. LE DUC: I didn't say the trial period should be seven years. It should be a shorter period. However, it should be left to the discretion of the Convention as to how long a trial period should be provided, and after the trial period, or test period, whatever you want to call it, it would be extended for 12 or 15 years.

MR. SMITH: But the maximum extension would be 15 years?

MR. LE DUC: Yes.

MR. SMITH: So, if the trial period is, say, seven years, and it is then extended another 15 years, that would be 22 years in all?

MR. LE DUC: Yes.

MR. SMITH: Now, if the first appointment was at, say, the age of 35 years, and he had 22 years to go - 7 and 15 - that would bring him up to 57 years of age?

MR. LE DUC: Yes, 57, that's right.

MR. SMITH: Then what happens?

MR. LE DUC: I am not suggesting at what age the retirement should be. I might add here, that very few judicial appointments for judges are ever made at the age of 35. That would be a rather rare case indeed. Most of these appointments are made when the man is in his 40's and quite often in his 50's. However, the retirement age should be fixed by the Constitution, or otherwise.

MR. THOMAS J. BROGAN: Suppose a man is disabled, physically or mentally, and cannot carry on, and that is certified to the Governor, and the Governor appoints a commission of two physicians, and on their report the incumbent, who is disabled, is pensioned under the statutory requirements.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: If the Constitution provides for a term, without any provision for disability, then under the Constitution


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