N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 516


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

their greatest stature after the age of 70.

There is one provision which, while it may be a minor one, particularly concerns me, and that is the provision which has been alluded to here this morning with regard to the appointment by the Chief Justice of an Administrative Director. Now, if the Chief Justice, one individual person, is to have the complete administration of all the courts, both superior and inferior in this State, I submit that he will be the most important administrative officer in the State of New Jersey, with the exception of the Governor. There will be a tremendous amount of money to be spent - taxpayers' money; a tremendous amount of procedure, a great amount of administration to be undertaken by that one man, although, of course, he could appoint his assistants.

Let's assume, for example, that this age was increased to 75 years of age. We may some time in the remote future have a Chief Justice who is not entirely physically capable of having that full responsibility of administration. Therefore, I wonder whether it shouldn't be the Supreme Court itself that should have this power, rather than the one man, or whether his actions should not be subject to the right of review by the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, whatever it may finally be determined that it shall be called. I also wonder whether it should be mandatory that this particular system be set up by constitutional enactment, to wit, that an Administrative Director shall be appointed. I should think that the Supreme Court might perhaps, through experience, itself devise some other system which might, as time goes on, be more conducive to good administration.

Now, that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes my remarks on the particular provisions. As I said before, I have not had the pleasure of appearing before you before. I have been chagrined and disappointed by the actions of a number of our local bar associations, county bar associations, which have appeared before this Committee and spoken against an integrated court and for an entirely separate Court of Chancery. I know of my own knowledge that in some cases, at least, this decision was made by a close vote of the members of the bar in that county, and in a number of cases without any meeting, without any chance for discussion and comment by those who might have thought otherwise.

It amuses me, sometimes, when I hear this constant plea for the retention of an old system which experience has now shown should be changed, merely because a certain renown has grown up over a period of years and the decisions in our Chancery Court have received such commendation in years gone by in other jurisdictions. I say this because, in my humble opinion, any renown that the New Jersey courts and jurists have received during the


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