N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 456


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

to give them, would be a repetition of what Judge Kremer has said.

I think it is true beyond dispute that the decisions of the Court of Chancery of this State have achieved a preeminent position in equity jurisprudence throughout the United States, and it seems odd to us that this Convention should consider the abolition of the Court of Chancery in view of that fact. No one has had the temerity to suggest or propose that equity jurisprudence or equitable principles should be abolished. That, of course, would be unthinkable.

The proposition advanced, as I understand it, is that the system of administering equity be changed about by having equity jurisprudence administered by a division of the Superior Court or the state-wide court, whatever it may be called. The chief objection we have to that is that the body of equity jurisprudence and equity law is so large that we think it impossible for a man who sits in a law court for a large part of his time and is transferred to a court of equity, to possess the knowledge or skill or learning of that subject that should be required of one qualified to administer equity generally.

This is the day of specialization, not only in law and in medicine, but in almost every field of human activity. It seems to us that if you are going to do away with the judges who sit specially as equity judges and who have no other law to administer except equity law, then you are inevitably going to weaken equity in this State and the position which has been achieved by our equity courts in this State.

It might also be said, I think, that if the Court of Chancery, as presently constituted, be abolished and the administration of equity thrown into a court that also administers law, you will have a great body of new rules and regulations to contend with. The present rules and regulations of the Court of Chancery will very largely have to be amended. That will, no doubt, give rise to lots of litigation and disputes and will be expensive and difficult for a period of some years to come.

We also favor the retention of the present system of appointing the Vice-Chancellors. I think it may be said that it is highly desirable that the appointment of any judicial officer be as far removed from political pressure as can be done. We recognize, of course, that we can have no perfect system and possibly no system under which some political consideration will not creep in, but we feel that the appointment of Vice-Chancellors by the Chancellor, to whom they are responsible and to whom they have to look for reappointment, will tend to keep the appointment of Vice-Chancellors more removed from political considerations and political influence than would be the case if Vice-Chancellors or


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