N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 5

Tuesday, June 24, 1947 (Morning session)

your first speaker. I am mindful of the fact that I am not here because of any great legal talents on my part, but because I had the privilege and the honor of being chairman of the Revision Commission in 1942.

I dislike very much to announce that I am going to read to you from a prepared paper. I would much prefer to treat with this whole subject informally - to deal with it on an informal question-and-answer basis. But in keeping with the dignity and integrity of those men with whom I served in 1942, I want to see that at least their views are accurately recorded - and hence this written document. After I have finished the reading of the paper, I will submit to questions, and I will be very happy to put myself on the spot in any way you want to put me on the spot.

The Commission on Revision was constituted by Joint Resolution of the Legislature, approved November 18, 1941. Of the seven members of the Commission, Governor Charles Edison appointed two, namely, Crawford Jamieson, Senator from Mercer County, and Arthur T. Vanderbilt, County Counsel of Essex County; the then President of the Senate appointed two others, namely, John F. Sly, Director of the Princeton Surveys, and me; the Speaker of the House of Assembly appointed two others, Walter D. Van Riper, now Attorney-General, and Walter J. Freund, now Judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals; and those six appointed a seventh, James Kerney, Jr., editor of the Trenton Times. The Commission elected me its chairman.

I might say here, for your enlightenment and benefit, that when we first convened I never met seven members with more divergent views on the theory and principles of government, and that applies to all branches of the government, judicial, executive, legislative and administrative. But by the exercise of patience and tolerance and with due courtesy for each other, after months and months of sitting together - we usually met together at the University Club in New York City toward the end of each week, we stayed on each occasion throughout the weekend - through this tolerance and patience we felt that we came out of our sessions with a rather credible document, a document which ought to help materially in this Convention. After months of deliberation, we unanimously came to an agreement on a draft of a revised Constitution. That draft formed the basis for the deliberations of the Legislature in 1944, as you will observe if you compare our proposal with that drawn by the Legislature of that year.

The Supreme Court

I might say that opinion among informed people throughout the State is - and I am sure you will find it true - largely in accord on this, namely, that there must be some change in the system of courts

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