N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 454


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Morning session)

sion that the Committee recommendation would lack the Court of Chancery? I don't understand it that way at all.

MR. KREMER: I say, and I gave my reasons a while back, that anything that tends to delegate the power of the Chancellor will tend to emasculate the power of the Court of Chancery.

As I tried to say, Mr. Peterson - maybe I didn't make myself clear - there is no court in our system in which the head of the court exercises that degree of control over the other members of the court that is exercised by the Chancellor. He is the conscience of the court. If you simply had equity judges appointed from the outside, without any supervision, as it were, over them, then, as I said before, you might have as many brands of equity as you would have equity judges. But you want to look to one man. Now, this system finds its counterpart in the method of appointment in Britain. In Britain judges are chosen - I think I can name the functionary correctly - the Permanent Home Secretary chooses them from a list, they are chosen for life, and they get salaries that would seem fantastic here. A judge of the King's Bench, comparable to a county judge or a circuit judge here, receives about $32,000 a year. I don't know the figure that the Chief Justice gets, but, if I am not mistaken, it's $200,000 a year, and it is worth that, seriously, to have a type of jurist who will administer the law, who is beyond political pressure, who doesn't have to worry about reappointment, and in Britain those men are chosen by the Permanent Home Secretary from a list of men who have taken the silk, as it were, and specialized in their particular fields. They are there for life. You have only one thing to fear - they needn't fear any outside pressure, political, financial or otherwise - the public has only to fear the possibility that a judge might grow indolent. That's the only danger.

I think that is strong support for the contention that Vice-Chancellors should be chosen by the Chancellor, removed as far as possible from the field of politics or pressure of any kind.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Any further questions?

(Silence)

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Judge Kremer...

Mr. Ewart, representing the Ocean County Bar.

MR. HOWARD EWART: Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: my name is Howart Ewart -

MR. PETERSON: Excuse me ... I think, Judge Kremer, you were going to introduce another witness for a short statement.

MR. KREMER: Yes, I was.

(Discussion between Vice-Chairman and Judge Kremer)

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Go ahead, Mr. Ewart.

MR. EWART: I come from Toms River and appear as a rep-


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