N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 502


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Wednesday, July 30, 1947 (Morning session)

allow, on the basis of experience, for the integration of the two, if eventually there is sufficient pressure and experience shows that it should be necessary? As it is, I'm sure that if you allowed for just a general statement we would have those same two divisions. As of the present day, we couldn't do away with them and we might just as well resign ourselves to that.

I would also say that paragraph 4, which starts out "subject to rules of the Supreme Court," is equally dangerous, because through the rule-making power, which I presume will be delegated to the Supreme Court, you come right back and have the same system which we have today. There's no reason why we shouldn't make the two separate and just do what you are trying to do, and that is say that legal and equitable relief shall be granted in any courts so that all matters and controversies between the parties may be completely determined. I think you run the risk of not getting that very desirable feature if you weaken it by saying "subject to rules of the Supreme Court."

Now, turning again to an entirely different aspect, we have the appointment of judges. I think it's very wise that in this State the judges are appointed, but I'm not sure that experience hasn't shown that we could do this better and take it completely out of politics. At the present you have what, I would say, are appointments by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. They are going to depend quite a bit on either the Governor or on senatorial courtesy. In connection with what one witness has said, not long ago a judge who did a very fine job - such a fine job that he was in demand in several counties besides his own - was not reappointed, the reason being that he was not of the political party which was making the appointment and the Senator from his county didn't recommend him. He didn't get enough of the record shown to get his reappointment, and I think he deserved it very much. Well, that is just one indication. I suppose you can undoubtedly quote, as the woman over there did, both ways. I'm sure it works both ways. If you get a good man he may be kept in, but it's a little risky. So I would say, why not establish the judicial council which has been advocated before you and with which you are very familiar, and let the appointments come through it in the form of recommendations to the Governor, and let the Governor choose? Why not break with what we've had and see if we can't get a different system and a better system? After all, good laws are made by good judges and I don't think it depends so much on the system which you give them as on the judges who are sitting on the bench. This really is more important than any other form which you would put up.

There are a few minor points. I wonder if Section VI, perhaps in paragraph 1, you couldn't provide for annual reports by the


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