N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 513

Wednesday, July 30, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. DAVIS: Yes, sir. Thank you.


(No response)


MR. N. W. HUNTER: I am a layman on the law, and I am speaking for myself only.

I have noted from the tentative draft that the word "jury" has been omitted. The United States Constitution provides for unreserved right of a jury. However, I have been advised -

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Will you speak louder, please?

MR. HUNTER: Surely ... However, some members of the bar have advised me that there are hidden clauses in our statutes that restrict and nullify the right to a jury. I recommend, if it can possibly be done through the basic law of the Constitution, that this guaranty of a jury be strengthened in our State Constitution.

Thank you.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. I might point out that the problem with respect to jury trials is considered by another committee in a different article.

MR. HUNTER: I thank you.


MR. EMANUEL WAGNER: I appear here for the Legislative Committee of Union County Bar Association. In common with various county bar associations, we subscribe pretty generally to the views of the State Bar Association on this Article.

However, we are particularly interested in the provision relating to the retirement of judges. Of course, it's a matter of opinion whether a man's capacity for fulfilling the duties of a judgeship are diminished at the age of 70 or 75. We all know that Justice Holmes remained on the bench of the Supreme Court until he was about 90 and did a pretty good job in his later years. But what we are mostly concerned with is the unfairness of casting out high judges before their terms expire. In other words, if I understand the provision in the Article relating to retirement, some of these judges who are now capably performing their duties would automatically be retired from office because they have reached the age of 70.

Now, it seems to me that if consideration was given by the Legislative Committee to the fact that certain persons made investments in race tracks and the voters will not be permitted to determine at this time whether that form of gambling should be continued in this State, so that the track owners in fairness may be permitted to recoup their investments, it would seem to me that judges who have invested a large part of their lives in their offices should receive like consideration.

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