N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 521


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

the bar, at least, seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of the unified court that your Committee is considering. Our views are generally in accordance with those of Mr. McCarter and Mr. Seiffert.

With reference to Section III, paragraph 2, we concur in the belief that the General Court, or whatever it is to be called, should have statewide jurisdiction in probate matters and in criminal matters. The reasons have been advanced by other speakers, and I will be brief.

As to Section IV, paragraph 4, we also agree that the relief there provided for the prerogative writ should not be a matter of right. Again, the reasons have already been advanced by other speakers.

We feel that the word "review" is somewhat indefinite, and we agree with Mr. McCarter that it may be phrased somewhat in this way: "That the relief heretofore granted by prerogative writs shall be granted, etc."

Now, there are just two additional points which we would urge. First, we believe that passage or acceptance of the final draft of the Constitution will be facilitated if it provides for the permanent assignment of judges to the Equity Division of the court. Finally, I agree with the suggestions of the first speaker regarding the appointment of judges. That is my personal feeling; I do not know the reaction of the other men of our firm. Whether the appointment of the first judges on the Supreme Court shall be for the duration of their present unexpired terms or for a staggered period of years is a question which merits your very serious consideration.

In closing, I want to say that it is apparent, from your tentative draft, that you have kept your eye on the point that you are writing a document which will be fundamental law, and not a statute. There has been some criticism of lack of detail, but I think such criticism is unjustified in view of what you are trying to accomplish. I want to thank you for the opportunity of being here.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. ... Mr. Ewart.

MR. HOWARD EWART: Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee:

My name is Howard Ewart. I am a member of the New Jersey Bar, and I appear not in an individual capacity but as a representative of the Ocean County Bar Association and the Ocean County Lawyers' Club which held a joint meeting on July 10 to discuss and debate the questions relating to the Judiciary Article of the proposed new Constitution.

One of the former speakers said, or rather intimated, that the action of many of the county bar associations was taken without a proper opportunity for discussion, that discussion was suppressed, and that a bare majority, perhaps, of those voting in favor of certain propositions was all that was had. It seems to me that such an


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