N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 448

Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Morning session)

is exclusive in two particulars. This is practically the only State - and if I am wrong, it is a simple matter to correct me - in which judges are appointed. The vast majority of states in the Union elect judges. No one has suggested that we should change from the system of appointive judges and proceed to elect them.

MR. FRANK H. SOMMER: One witness before us has, though, Judge.

MR. KREMER: Well, Dean Sommer, I would say there has been no avidity on the part of any force in this Convention or elsewhere that I have noticed.

MR. SOMMER: I said one.

MR. KREMER: Yes. He is a needle in a haystack, isn't he? There is no force, there is no movement in favor, I believe, of the abolition of our system by which we appoint judges instead of electing them, because we believe that we have attained a judiciary of a very high type by the appointive method. So what becomes of the argument that we simply ought to follow the crowd, as it were, and, because other states have abolished the Court of Chancery, we should do the same? If we were to be logical and consistent, then if we are going to do that, we ought to say we will follow the great majority and elect our judges. In fact, even though you may be unique, there is no reason to discard something of value simply because it is unique.

I think it may be worthy of comment to say that in the early part of the 19th Century, this republic of ours was the only republic on the face of the earth. All other governments were monarchical - I look at you for fear you might correct me, Dean; there might have been San Marino even at that time - and no one would have conceded in America that merely because other forms of government which were monarchical were more numerous that we should, therefore, abandon our republican system. So I think that this argument that we ought simply to join with those who have abolished the Court of Chancery loses its force in the light of these facts.

Now, criticism is made of the Court of Chancery. One important criticism that I have noticed in the newspapers - and I know that you gentlemen have heard more about it here and have had a better opportunity here than we could from the outside - is that there is confusion of remedy, that on occasion a case is started in the law court and equity intervenes and a question arises which must be determined in equity before you can proceed to a final determination at law, and that delay ensues. Well, that may arise on occasion. I think those occasions are so rare that they need not disturb us. I may say that I have been engaged in active practice for 32 years. I have been quite active in Chancery work, certainly, for the last 15 years, and I can say truthfully that there have been but two occasions in my experience where there has been the necessity

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