N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 347

Wednesday, July 9, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. SOMMER: I am only raising the question, and not indicating an opinion.

MR. KERNEY: We felt that the administrative power of the Chief Justice should be such that he should be able to certify the matter to the Governor, who, incidentally, was the man making all appointments. The appointive power shall be centralized in him, and the man who originally appointed the members of the court should have power to select this special term of the Supreme Court, since that was an appointive power.

MR. SOMMER: But if the power of assignment to the courts is in, say, the Chief Justice, which is the highest power, why inject the Governor into the picture? As a matter of fact, of course, he may be the original appointive power, but this isn't an appointive division, but simply a step in the administration of the work of the judiciary.

MR. KERNEY: As a practical matter, I don't disagree with the idea that the Chief Justice should be able to make that appointment himself. As a matter of fact, I don't see how a head under such a system wouldn't appoint the very top men.

MR. SMITH: Nevertheless, we give it to the Governor, I suppose on the principle that since he had all the other appointive powers of the courts, we give him this power also.

MR. SOMMER: Mr. Kerney, wouldn't you think that the Chief Justice would be more familiar with the work of the men under him than the Governor?

MR. KERNEY: Yes, from that viewpoint there would be merit to it.

MR. SOMMER: He is the one who is supervising their work constantly.

MR. KERNEY: Of course, in that connection I might say that I can't imagine the Governor doing that without consulting with the Chief Justice, and I doubt that the Governor would make an appointment, an assignment, without consulting with the Chief Justice. I grant you that you might simplify matters by having the Chief Justice doing that. I don't disagree with you on that.

MR. SMITH: As I recall the language of the particular provision - that the delayed cases would be assigned to a newly appointed judge - did that refer to cases that were specifically assigned to that judge and had not been cleared by him within the specified time?

MR. KERNEY: That's right; that refers to cases assigned to that man specifically, a case that had been argued but had not been disposed by that judge. The purpose of it is to expedite these matters. That matter was to be left to the Chief Justice, as to the assigning of judges to hear these delayed matters and the appoint-

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