N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 519

Wednesday, July 30, 1947 (Morning session)

posed here in the main seems to meet all the qualifications which any constitutional provision should prescribe, and that is to have it simple. I think every clause is sufficiently broad in scope to take care of all the exigencies which may arise. I will confine my specific comments to two or three small points which I think might be considered further.

I agree with Mr. McCarter's suggestion with reference to Section III, paragraph 2, which pertains to the jurisdiction of the General Court. It is my impression that that jurisdiction should be enlarged to include the power of control over the probate jurisdiction by rule of court or by some other mechanics. It seems to me that some confusion may arise because of the definition of what constitutes equity jurisdiction, probate jurisdiction, prerogative court jurisdiction, and so on. Many of those terms have been held to be rigid terms, and, therefore, restrictions have been placed upon the powers of the courts in the past by virtue of such definition. I think that the grant of jurisdiction should be sufficiently general in order that all phases of a matter, whether probate, equity or whatever the nature, may be taken care of in one controversy.

The other point that I think is perhaps too broad, or rather too specific, is Section IV, paragraph 4, which has been referred to by several previous speakers. That provision is to the effect that a review may be had as a matter of right in the cases where prerogative writs were formerly employed. As a member of a firm which handles a great many municipal matters, our experience has been similar to that of one or two speakers before, in that there are a great many public matters where a review is not desirable in the sense of a full review, since the taking of testimony and similar time-consuming activities may unnecessarily delay completion of a needed public project.

Now, it is my suggestion that that particular provision be amended by eliminating the words, "by the General Court as of right except in criminal causes." The reason I make that suggestion is this. Any lawyer who has appeared before the Supreme Court usually must prepare the case rather thoroughly on his application for a writ of certiorari or some other preliminary writ. In effect, the action of the Justice who acts in that particular application constitutes a review, and, therefore, it is not necessary for every case to be reviewed in full by a court or by the full taking of testimony. I think that the language employed here in this provision in its present form tends to indicate that such a review is necessary. I think that if you eliminate the words just referred to, the court could, by rule of court, prescribe and define the nature of the review necessary to safeguard the rights of all parties. It could define a review to mean in certain cases only the considera-

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