N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 382

Wednesday, July 9, 1947 (Afternoon session)

fice of that right.

It is suggested that the members of the bar who favor the retention of the Court of Chancery are so awfully conservative that they want nothing changed. I think that is not the truth. I am certain it is not the truth so far as I am concerned. For 20 years, over 20 years, I have believed that we should have a separate Court of Appeals of, I think, seven judges. I believe that the judges of the Court of Appeals should have no other judicial duties of any kind or character, but should be able to devote their whole time to their appellate work.

I believe that the provision of our Constitution which makes every case appealable ultimately to the Court of Errors and Appeals should be modified so that the Court of Errors and appeals should have discretion as to what sort of appeals they would hear. I think that is important; it is of the utmost importance that the judges of our Court of Errors and Appeals should have time to consider the cases, to reach not only a correct decision but also to embody their reasons for the decision in opinions which will be helpful to the bar for many years.

I think that our Prerogative Court and our Court of Chancery could well be consolidated. These courts have the same judges; I think they might well be consolidated.

These are the two important changes which I think would be beneficial.

It seems to me that it would be advisable not to attempt to regulate the inferior courts so as to establish them as constitutional courts. I think the provision of our present Constitution which establishes certain constitutional courts and then leaves it up to the Legislature to establish inferior courts, and to regulate, alter or abolish them, is a good provision. I think it should be retained. I doubt very much if we have any occasion for any constitutional courts other than the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, and the Court of Chancery with which might be consolidated the Prerogative Court. I don't know as there would be any great benefit in consolidating the Prerogative Court with the Court of Chancery, but I am quite certain it would involve no loss, and I think it would be a practical thing to do.

I just wish to add a word about the Court of Chancery, if it is to be retained, as I hope it will be. I think that the Vice-Chancellors well might be given the power to make decrees, instead of only advising them. As the members of the Committee know, under the present practice a Vice-Chancellor advises a decree and, in theory, it gets its force from the signature of the Chancellor. I think that well might be changed; that the Court of Chancery might consist of the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellors, and that the Vice-Chan-

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