N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 59
three lay members appointed by the Governor. One responsibility of this Commission is to recommend to the Governor a list of qualified candidates for each judicial vacancy, from which list the appointment must be made with the consent of the Senate. Both lawyers and lay members are included on the Commission in order to encourage consideration of both general standing and professional ability.
A satisfactory judicial system must, as far as possible, remove a judge from extraneous pressures in order to give him real freedom of decision. Such freedom is commonly provided for by the unlimited judicial term, subject to good behavior. An unlimited term, however, makes it impossible to remove a judge who has demonstrated lack of capacity for the position. The proposal recommended by the League of Women Voters is designed to make possible the removal of an incompetent judge after a limited period of time and, at the same time, assure a high degree of judicial freedom.
It is proposed that a judge be appointed for an initial term of seven years. At the end of this period the Commission on Judicial Appointment must consider the reappointment, after holding a public hearing. It may then recommend reappointment, advise against reappointment, or submit the name together with other names to the Governor. If reappointed, the judge serves during good behavior until retirement. Thank you.
VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much ... Mrs. Halligan -
MRS. H. K. HALLIGAN: Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee: I would like to hand out these printed forms that have been prepared for this purpose.
VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
MRS. HALLIGAN: I believe Mrs. Heinz covered a few of the points here, and we might be doubling up just a bit. However, regardless of what Mrs. Heinz said about the method of appointing justices and the terms, it is our suggestion, after examining all of the proposals which have been made - and I would like to say a word here, Mr. Chairman, to the effect that these proposals of the League of Women Voters have been discussed very, very thoroughly in communities throughout the State, and we have had advice from a great many expert sources, and the proposals would represent a layman's conception of what these things might perhaps be - we propose that the Justices of the General Court shall, prior to their appointment, have been practicing attorneys in good standing for at least ten years.
Mrs. Heinz has already covered paragraph 2, in that they shall be appointed for a term of seven years. If reappointed, the Justice shall hold office during good behavior. We felt the issue of good behavior
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