N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 54
been worked out and were approved by the State Bar Association at its meeting on Saturday.
COMMITTEE MEMBER: Mr. Chairman, I move that this matter brought here by Mr. Hannoch be put on our agenda for consideration.
VICE-CHAIRMAN: All the matters that are brought before us are on our agenda for future consideration. In answer to your questions, I might say that a good deal of the so-called restrictions have been by what we call judicial interpretation. Mr. Hannoch says there is nothing in the Constitution. The court may, in the course of its interpretations as to the meaning of our present Constitution, say that certain jurisdictions are frozen by virtue of the fact that the Constitution made specific reference to a particular court.
What Mr. Hannoch is driving at, as I understand it, is that we should make certain to avoid in our phraseology a perpetuation of the difficulties that have been encountered by virtue of the fact that certain things have been frozen since 1844 under general language in the Constitution. Now, it isn't a matter of just this problem. As we go along we will see that there are many others, and I do think that we will have as one of our problems the question of what phraseology we want in the Constitution which will allow changes as time goes on, in this regard and in other regards, particularly with respect to practice and procedure.
COMMITTEE MEMBER: In other words, the courts are bound by their jurisdictions. Is there a law which prohibits the Supreme Court or Chief Justice from putting a new interpretation on the law?
VICE-CHAIRMAN: The answer to that is no. The person who reads the decisions of the United States Supreme Court will see that it is being done every day. Some lawyers might suggest that the courts are powerless to eliminate some of the difficulties in connection with these prerogative writs. Many members of the Bar feel that many of the difficulties could have been eliminated by the courts - not necessarily the right of appeals, but certainly those relating to procedural rights - for example, the question as to whether you should proceed by quo warranto, or mandamus, or certiorari.
I don't think we ought to spend too much time on that. I think our inquiry will be, in the light of whatever Judicial Article we recommend, what provisions we are going to include so as to make certain that these problems are taken care of.
MR. DIXON: I think that is one of the important things in the lay mind, with respect to procedure, because as a layman who reads and knows from personal experience about such procedures in the courts, they are out of all reason, particularly to men who have been
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