N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 469

Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Afternoon session)

they think, how they feel and what is good for them and everything concerned with it; and I sincerely hope that you will see fit to retain the county court system.

We also passed a resolution which requested that a provision be inserted that all judges of all courts should be attorneys-at-law. That, of course, between us, is aimed at the doing away with the justices of the peace whom we still have in our small county and whom we are not particularly proud of, and we thought that that might take care of that situation. The last revision of 1944 provided that all judges, as I recall, should be attorneys-at-law of at least ten years' standing, and I believe that we are fully in accord with that provision or something similar.

We are heartily in accord with your ideas establishing a Supreme Court that will hear nothing but appeals and important cases, and we feel that that is a reform that should, perhaps, have been instituted many years ago.

I think that that is about all I have to say, unless you have some questions you would like to ask. We appreciate the opportunity of being here and realize, of course, that you want to give the people something which is good for them but which will not be too radical. I think that was one of the troubles three years ago. The changes were so far-reaching that people, I think, honestly became afraid and just tossed the whole thing out rather than take it. I think that's one thing this Committee undoubtedly has in mind because of the high type of men and women on it. I hope that the other committees and the Convention itself will keep that in mind when it comes to putting the whole thing together. If you present something which is too - "radical" is not the word - but too much out of the ordinary, I think it may be beaten whereas -

MR. FRANK H. SOMMER: Too disorganized.

MR. GEBHARDT: That is right. If we have something that is reasonable and fair, we must take the time to educate the people and make them understand it and try to make them feel that it is their Constitution, not ours - that it will work. That is about all I have to say. I appreciate being here.

MR. THOMAS J. BROGAN: We are very thankful.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Judge. Any questions?

MRS. GENE W. MILLER: Judge Gebhardt - about the number who are in favor of this resolution which you gave us; you said that pretty near all of the members of the Association were in favor of this.

MR. GEBHARDT: The vote of the persons present was four to one for it.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: What is that in number?

MR. GEBHARDT: Eleven to three.

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