N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 533


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

point that the Chancellor is the court of conscience. When he finished McCarter said: "Have you ever seen the conscience of the court at work? I have; I saw it the other day. I came down to the Chancery office a little early and there in the office outside the Chancellor's office was a beautiful blonde lady and she had piled up on one side about that high (indicating) all the orders sent in in the mail by the Vice-Chancellors, the Advisory Masters and the Special Masters, all ready for the Chancellor's signature. The Chancellor's signature was supplied by a great big rubber stamp and a right hand. She was going this way (indicating the use of a hand stamp), right through that pile of letters. There, gentlemen," he said, "is the conscience of the court at work."

(Laughter)

That illustrates the folly of trying to say that the conscience of the court resides in the Chancellor. After all, how many is it - 22,000 cases that come up a year? It's perfectly obvious that the conscience of the court - that is, the Chancellor - doesn't operate in determining those causes. It is the individual consciences of the Vice-Chancellors, Advisory Masters and Special Masters, regulated by precedent and principle written into our equity decisions and our Equity Reports, that move the court's decisions. There's no such thing, ladies and gentlemen, as a court of conscience, anymore than a law court is a court of conscience.

I close with this observation. Law and equity are closely related jurisprudences. They are not hostile; they are friendly. The prime objective of equity is to aid law, to supply remedies where law is deficient. They work together, they should work together, and what this Committee has done in its draft is to bring them closer together in harmony. It's comparable to the act of bringing together under one roof separated but married spouses who have lived apart and to join them in a life of tangible happiness and fidelity. It's a very proper union which you have promoted in this draft and one which I trust will stand the stresses and strains of debate from the floor. Thank you very much.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. LeDuc. ... Mr. Baker?

MR. HORACE E. BAKER: Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee:

My name is Horace E. Baker. I am from Westfield, New Jersey. I wish to commend you and congratulate you on the magnificent effort which you have made in this draft of our Judiciary Article of the proposed charter. I think you are proceeding on very firm ground.

This is no reckless venture into unchartered seas, as you well know. About 100 years ago, the State of New York faced the same problem which we are facing now. The same arguments were


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