N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 515


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

ment, by the county courts. But it seems that certainly the General Court - or the "Supreme Court" - should have that statewide jurisdiction in the probate and criminal branches of the law.

Now, with respect to Section IV, paragraph 1 (e), on the right of appeal, I can see the theory behind making it mandatory for our court of last resort to hear important appeals in cases involving constitutional or civil rights, or in capital cases. I feel, however, that the right of the court to review any case should not be limited by constitutional provision. In other words, if, over a period of years, this court by experience finds that there are certain classes of cases which have sufficient public interest to require a right of review by the court of last resort, the court should itself have the power, by a rule of the court, to provide a procedure for the hearing of such appeals, and not depend upon the Legislature to pass a statute for that purpose -

MR. WALTER G. WINNE: You have that in (d) haven't you, Mr. Seiffert?

MR. SEIFFERT: That would be only, as I take it - I meant to mention that - in particular cases that may come to the court's attention. So, to cover the thought that you express, as well as my own thought, I have a suggestion that in (e) we add "in such cases as may be provided by law and by general rule of the court."

Now, perhaps my next remark with respect to paragraph 4 will be slightly inconsistent. The argument has been urged, and I think well urged from my experience as a municipal attorney, that the class of cases that were formerly heard by prerogative writs are, in most instances, a review of actions of administrative tribunals and of municipalities and counties. Now, if you have the unrestricted right of review, important public improvements, emergency actions of municipalities, would often be subject to attack by any individual, disgruntled taxpayer or citizen.

I am not prepared to suggest to you just what the answer to that question should be. However, I think it is an important one. I thought, perhaps, that the words "as of right" might come out of that paragraph and some language such as this included: "A refusal to grant a review may be summarily reviewed by the Appellate Division under rule of the court or under rule of the court to be promulgated."

May I add, too, my support to the argument that judges should not necessarily be retired at 70 years. I think the Constitution or the Legislature could provide a system whereby a judge could be retired at the age of 70, but I think that certainly they should be allowed, unless otherwise incapacitated, which is provided for, to serve until they are 75 years of age. We lawyers know that some of our most renowned jurists in the State of New Jersey reached


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