N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 526


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

adopted a similar proposal and I promised myself that I would object to it if it were presented here. Here are my reasons:

Today, a man who is admitted to the bar is usually 27 or 28 years of age; add to that his three or four years' war experience and you have a man coming to the bar who is 30 or 31 years of age; add to that the limitation you have placed there that he be admitted to the highest court before he can be considered for an appointment, ten years' admission rather, and you have a man who is about 44 or 45 years of age. Certainly, if you are protecting against an over-aged judiciary, by this Article you are creating one.

I say that if your proposal had been in operation at the time of the coming to the bench of such men as Judge Learned Hand, Judge Knox and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Joseph Story, we would have been denied the benefit of their judicial experience. I submit to this Committee in the form of a recommendation that this limitation of ten years' admission to the highest court be deleted from the report to the Convention. I claim that it is not a limitation on immaturity, it is one on ability.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you. ... Judge Gebhardt.

MR. PHILIP R. GEBHARDT: Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee:

I will take just a few moments of your time. You will recall that I appeared here last week and gave you the views of the Association with regard to the retention of the Court of Chancery. Of course, under this draft which you have proposed, the Court of Chancery, as such, would be a part of the integrated court. I would just like to call your attention to the fact that we still feel it ought to be a separate division. I think, too, that there might be a place for the Chancellor as a member of the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court, whichever it may be called, along with the Chief Justice, each to run his own court. Even if they were integrated, I think this might be a good idea.

However, the main reason I am here today is to speak with regard to the abolition of the civil practice, or civil jurisdiction, rather, of the Court of Common Pleas. In a poll taken of the Hunterdon County Bar Association on Monday and Tuesday, it developed that in contacting every member of that Association, with one exception they felt that the the civil jurisdiction should be retained by the Common Pleas Court, or the County Court, as it would be called. They could see no advantage whatsoever in taking that away from the County Court. They felt that we might have it, as we always had, along with the General Court, or whatever it may be called. I cannot emphasize too strongly the fact that the members of our Association feel that the civil jurisdiction should be retained, along with the criminal and Orphans' Court jurisdiction. I think that is


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