N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 343

Wednesday, July 9, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. BROGAN: No. For instance, Common Pleas?

MR. KERNEY: Oh, yes. I believe there should be life tenure for these inferior judges. We propose that; that would come under the unified plan.

MR. BROGAN: Now, what is your thought with respect to the mechanics of it? How would it be worked out? Or is it to be on the same basis as now, that each county would have a local judge? If I recall correctly, the thought among the speakers here seemed to be that it should be something like the Common Pleas judge is now. Now, if those men were to be integrated - if that is the word - in the court of original jurisdiction, under the first plan, what would you do with a judge from one of the small counties, who now has only a day a week, or two days a week, in which he is able to do all the business that is required of him?

MR. KERNEY: I think that is the direct conflict between life tenure and the appointment of a judge in each county. I don't see the need for a judge to be appointed from each county. I feel that the effort to retain a local judge in each county is an effort to retain political control over judges. The appointment of judges for life tenure is an effort to completely remove political control over judges. I feel that the suggestion of life tenure is in direct conflict with the appointment of a local judge in each county, and I am opposed to a judge being appointed specifically from and sitting in each county.

MR. BROGAN: Mr. Kerney, couldn't you, within your own scheme of things, appoint a judge from each county, but who would function in his so-called spare time elsewhere, so that he would be busy all the time?

MR. KERNEY: If it is a practical compromise, I wouldn't have any objection to it. Most courts of general jurisdiction have at least one representative from each county, and I don't feel that he should be specifically assigned to that county necessarily. There are too many counties where there is no need for a judge.

MR. BROGAN: Those who discussed it had the basic notion that there should be a judge available for matters that do come up, you know, from time to time, which require immediate attention, and who could immediately be assigned to take care of such eventualities. I suppose that was the reason for favoring the idea that they should come from the county, but with the understanding that they are not specifically assigned to that one county; that they are subject to assignment wherever a judge is needed.

MR. KERNEY: Yes, I agree that there should be a judge available for that purpose.

MR. McMURRAY: I just want to say, Mr. Kerney, in regard to your own statement that people would rather be tried in the

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