N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 396

STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

Thursday, July 10, 1947 (Morning session)

(The session began at 10:00 A. M.)

The Committee on the Judiciary met in Room 202, Rutgers University Gymnasium.

PRESENT: Brogan, Dixon, Drenk, Jacobs, McMurray, Miller, G. W., Peterson, H. W., Smith, G. F., Sommer and Winne.

Vice-Chairman Jacobs presided at the request of Chairman Sommer.

VICE-CHAIRMAN NATHAN L. JACOBS: Chancellor A. Dayton Oliphant.

CHANCELLOR A. DAYTON OLIPHANT: I appreciate your invitation to appear and state my views to you. I prefer to read in large measure, so that my views may be stated as directly and concisely as possible, after which, if there are any questions, I will be glad to endeavor to answer them.

I am profoundly conscious of the somewhat delicate position I am placed in by appearing before you in that some may attribute to it a selfish motive. I wish to assure you that such is farthest from my thoughts. I, as you, want to see this Convention evolve and produce a Judicial Article which we can all conscientiously support and which will give to this State the finest court structure and judicial procedure possible. In the attainment of that end the fate or position of any one individual is immaterial, and naturally, if need be, must be subordinated to the good of the whole people.

You undoubtedly expect me to talk with you concerning the Court of Chancery, its proper place in the contemplated court structure, and to give you my views regarding its retention or, as some say, its rejection.

Let me say right here that I will probably be asked, or the question will be in the minds of some of you, and it is a fair question - why did I publicly approve of the 1944 draft and why do I now apparently not entirely agree with it? At that time I had been on the Circuit Court bench for 18 years and I did not know the problem as I now think I do, and since having spent some time on the Supreme Court bench and as Chancellor I think I have achieved some knowledge of the practical operation of some of the courts as distinguished from theory. I did not know the problem from a higher court or appellate court viewpoint as I think I now do. I


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