N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 495

Wednesday, July 30, 1947 (Morning session)

grandeur and not think he is subordinate to anybody except the Chief Justice. I think we should have an Administrative Director, but I think he should be provided for by act of the Legislature.

Now with respect to paragraph 2 of Section VI, I think it is a very serious defect that the Constitution does not provide that the judges appointed to the Equity Division shall be permanently assigned thereto. I realize that I referred to this in my remarks in the memorandum I filed with this Committee when I was before it a few weeks ago, but I cannot help pressing that now because I do not know whether this was intentionally done or whether it was sort of an oversight. There is the statement that assignments for the Appellate Division shall be for terms fixed by rules of the Supreme Court. Does that mean that assignments to the Equity or Law Divisions can be from month to month, or day to day? I think every evil of the system in New York - where judges are at one time in what they call the special term, dealing with equity cases, and at another time in a trial term like our Circuit judges - would be introduced here. Every evil of the federal system would be introduced here. I think that the great talking point of what I call the Chancery diehards is that we have equity specialists. I feel that if we provide for the assignment permanently to the Chancery Division of Chancery experts, you will take the wind out of the sails of a lot of those people in favor of a separate court and you will acquire a great many favorable votes from people who are in between. I have heard lawyers say that they would be in favor of a unified court with a Chancery (Equity) Division so long as the equity judges were assigned there permanently, subject perhaps to emergent temporary assignments elsewhere.

Turning to the Schedule, there are some things, of course, that I have already mentioned that come back again in there. Among them are the age 70, the original jurisdiction of the Prerogative Court being retained, and the original jurisdiction in criminal matters being retained. I can't understand why the Constitution in paragraph 4 takes the trouble to abolish the Orphans' Court, Court of Common Pleas, etc. That could be done by the Legislature today, and it can be done by the first Legislature after the Constitution shall have been adopted by the people. I can't see why it should be put in the Constitution.

Only one more thing, and then I'm through. Paragraph 6 of the Schedule says Advisory Masters shall continue to hear matrimonial causes. There is no way of putting in the Constitution how they shall be appointed. They are now appointed by the Chancellor. Who is to do it? I think that ought to be made plain.

Thank you.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. McCarter. ... Mrs. Henderson.

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