N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 429
and, therefore, in a position to curb any tendency on the part of the other two branches of government to exceed their constitutional authority.
It was Hamilton who quoted Montesquieu: "There is no liberty if the powers of judging be not separate from the legislative and executive powers." "The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited constitution," Hamilton added. And how may we best acquire this independent judiciary that your Governor so greatly wants and I am sure our citizens require? First and foremost, it seems to me that the members of our judiciary should be appointed for long terms, preferably given life tenure. The alternative, however, to life tenure would in my judgment be to provide for initial appointments of anywhere from seven to ten years, with a judge having life tenure following a reappointment and confirmation, of course, by the Senate in both instances. That will do more, in my judgment, to insure the independence of the judiciary than anything else.
Provision should be made for the retirement of the judges, perhaps at 70, certainly not later than 75. The particular details with respect to retirement need not in my opinion be incorporated, and I don't think should be incorporated, in the Constitution. However, this Convention might very well recommend to the Governor and the Legislature what, in its collective opinion, should be done with respect to retirement.
Some question has been raised with respect to the method of selection of the judiciary. Since our primary purpose is to maintain the division between the legislative, the executive and the judicial branches, the question of selection is merely one of technique. Presumably, we could adopt any one of a number of different methods, provided only that it would secure the best possible result. I prefer appointment by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, to election. I would certainly as a Chief Executive be very willing to accept, for example, the Missouri plan, where there is a commission composed of distinguished men whose duty it is to guide the Governor in the selection of nominees for consideration by the Senate.
But I should like to stress one point, and that is this, - that there should be uniformity with respect to the selection of judges. In other words, the same procedure should apply to all judges. If the Constitution gives the power of appointment, subject to Senate confirmation, to the Governor in some instances, it should be given to the Governor in all instances. That, in my judgment, will make for a better working relationship between all of the judges who are sitting in the State than a system which provides for appointment by one method in some cases and another method in other cases. Here in New Jersey we have tried varying methods, but I
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