N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 42

with your permission, go briefly over this draft which has been put in your hands.

(Reads Section I of draft)1 See page 38.

Now, on that I should like to make a few comments. The first is that we think that the name of the court of last resort should be the Court of Appeals. It would be less confusing than if this new Constitution changes the name of the court of last resort by calling it the Supreme Court.

Hitherto the Supreme Court was not the court of last resort, but the intermediate court, and it will cause great confusion if the status of the court in the future is changed. The Court of Appeals was the name of the court of last resort under the Constitution of 1776, and, I think, it would be a shorter and neater name than the present name by which it is now known.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Mr. McCarter, you say "such courts inferior to the Supreme Court as now exist ..." I notice that other proposals have referred to it as "such courts of limited jurisdiction inferior to the Supreme Court." Do you want to comment on that?

MR. McCARTER: That does not mean anything. Limited in what way? Territorially or functionally? The District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. I don't think the words "limited jurisdiction" add anything, and will only provide a chance to litigate the question of whether it was properly constituted, and whether or not it was limited. I think if you have a court inferior to the Supreme Court, it is up to the Legislature to say whether it is limited or not.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: But, would you give the Legislature comprehensive powers to fix the jurisdiction of these courts?

MR. McCARTER: I certainly would.

(Off-the-record discussion)

MR. McCARTER: By the way, as your chairman brought out by a question, I have here an example of the first thesis, that a great deal should be left to the Legislature.

Now, we come to -

MR. AMOS F. DIXON: May I interrupt here to ask a question? You say "such courts inferior to the Supreme Court as now exist ..." They do not now so exist. Do you want to tie this up to the courts that do now exist? I think you ought to give a free hand to the Legislature.

MR. McCARTER: "... which inferior courts" - that is the last sentence - "the Legislature may alter or abolish, as the public good shall require."

MR. DIXON: The Legislature, under the proposed Constitution,

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