N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 338

Tuesday, July 8, 1947 (Afternoon session)

officers through the appointive system than through the elective system. For instance, in my own town, which is Woodbury, it is rather difficult to get the people that you want to run on the ticket, say for election to the city council, but we have no difficulty whatever in getting the highest type, the administrative type, to serve on the school board, which is an appointive job.

JUDGE SMITH: In line with that, I can give you a very good illustration. No doubt many of you here knew Judge Avis very well. Judge Avis was one of the most competent men that ever sat on the federal bench in this State, bar none. He had more judicial temperament than any man I ever saw, but I would warrant that his personality and his quiet attitude were such that he probably could never even have been elected under an elective system.

MR. PETERSON: Your conclusion is one of fact. He wouldn't even offer himself for an elective position, or he would have represented Gloucester County in the State Senate. He would have run the gamut of all those offices, if he would have offered himself on the ballot.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Are there any other questions you want to ask Dean Ormsby while he is still here?

MR. ORMSBY: I just want to say that I don't think people are so easily fooled in these elections as some people would think they are.

MR. PETERSON: It isn't that; the people would not have the choice, because the person would not run.

MR. ORMSBY: Then your quarrel is with procedure.

MR. PETERSON: Have you ever waited on a person that you thought would make an exceptional public official and asked him to be a candidate on a ticket to run for a public office, and then receive a denial of such offer?

MR. ORMSBY: That's right.

MR. PETERSON: Would that happen when you waited on a lawyer and asked him to run on a non-partisan ballot?

MR. ORMSBY: Don't you think, on the other hand, that we should make every effort we can to get men of that kind who are willing to run, on a non-partisan ticket?

MR. PETERSON: All right, let's assume I am a lawyer in community "X". I am singularly successful in my practice of law. I am not at all attracted by the remuneration I am going to get as a judge, but the people think I will make a good judge. Now, I risk my whole reputation by running, particularly at a time where for the last 10, 12 years candidates running on somebody's coattail were elected. So what have I done? I have offered myself as a target for the abuses of people who have no qualifications or background, to seek the high office that they seek, particularly the judiciary. And what happens if I lose, if I am defeated? I have lost

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