N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 510

Wednesday, July 30, 1947 (Morning session)

der this article is intended to be, as at present, a "court of last resort in all causes as heretofore." This language was put into the 1844 Constitution and it had a very definite meaning at the time it was written. If we don't say just that, then the only alternative that is open to us is to do what the other states have done in revamping their judicial systems. They create an appellate court and they provide plainly, clearly, specifically, exactly, just what jurisdiction that appellate court has. It might be said, in answer to this point that I make, that this would be to sort of "freeze" into the Constitution matters which are more or less legislative. I don't think that is true. I think that the very nature of the situation requires great certainty.

This Constitution is going to be the basic framework by which all our future laws are to stand or fall, as the case may be. We have to know what it means. The appellate court has to know what it means. Everyone, including the lawyers, has to know. We need certainty. The people have to know where they stand. If they have a right of appeal, they should know that by reading this Constitution. It is better that we put too much in than to leave something out.

There appears to be a great deal of sentiment for a so-called easy amending clause. If it is true that such a clause is going to be put in this Constitution, we won't have any great difficulty in adding to the Judicial Article some forms of appeal which were inadvertently omitted, or taking away some forms which appear not to be practical.

Section II, paragraph 3: Under this language, if the rule-making power is to be "subject to law," as the paragraph says, there seems to be little point to mention that fact in the Constitution. The present situation is, under the 1844 Constitution, that our courts have the rule-making power by way of legislative grant. There seems to be no sound need for treating this in the Constitution now.

However, if the object of this provision is to make the Chief Justice the head man of all the courts, I repeat again, all the courts, including, let's say, the Hohokus Police Court in Bergen County - the door is opened for the invasion of the principle of local home rule. For example, this language, in my opinion, would permit the Chief Justice to constitute himself the presiding magistrate in all local police courts, and to step in and take over whenever he felt like butting in, and no one could say to him "Nay." I don't think the people want that.

In connection with the rule-making power, it must also be remembered that one of the reasons that our present Chancellor, under the 1844 Constitution, and other judges too, are supposed to be overloaded with labor, according to the proponents of revi-

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