N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 342

Wednesday, July 9, 1947 (Morning session)

MRS. GENE W. MILLER: Would you say something about the removal of judges?

MR. KERNEY: About the removal of jurists - well, that is by impeachment.

MR. GEORGE F. SMITH: It wasn't so stated in your proposed revision, Mr. Kerney. There are two methods, as I recall it. One by impeachment, conditional on good behavior; and removal mandatory on account of physical or mental disability.

MR. KERNEY: You may have a very good point there.

MR. SMITH: Was it considered?

MR. KERNEY: I don't believe so. I don't recall it.

MR. SMITH: How do you feel about it?

MR. KERNEY: I think that ought to be a logical cause for removal - any disability, physical or mental.

MR. BROGAN: How about incompetency?

MR. KERNEY: I would classify that in exactly the same category - any disability which makes a man incompetent to serve as a judge.

MR. WAYNE D. McMURRAY: By whom would that removal be made? By the Chief Justice of the highest court?

MR. KERNEY: I would prefer to see it in the jurisdiction of the courts themselves - that is, the Chief Justice and members of the proposed Supreme Court.

MR. McMURRAY: Who would remove the Chief Justice?

MR. KERNEY: There would have to be a Chief Justice. The Chief Justice could be removed for cause.

MR. FRANK H. SOMMER: You would have them all subject to impeachment - everyone of them?

MR. KERNEY: That's right.

MR. SOMMER: Then, as to the judges of the courts - the courts of last resort, we would have to provide for a readier method of removal. We would have to take a chance on the court of last resort, I suppose, pretty generally?

MR. KERNEY: We have been taking some chances on that court for some time.

MR. McMURRAY: What is your thought on age retirement?

MR. KERNEY: I feel 70 should be a proper age for retirement.

MR. WALTER G. WINNE: You mean, compulsory at 70?

MR. KERNEY: Compulsory at 70. That provision I prefer to have made part of the Constitution, but it may be a matter for the Legislature. I believe it should be a constitutional provision.

MR. BROGAN: Would you have all judges with life tenure, even in the so-called inferior courts, that is, the county courts?

MR. KERNEY: Well, we didn't propose county courts in our revision as such. If you mean traffic courts, district courts, etc., -

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