N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 658
and the less said about them the better. It suffices to say that in neither instance was the best interest of the public at large a primary consideration of those opposed to the changes.
Our court system has the same defects now that it had in 1944. Justice Colie gave ample evidence of some of its shortcomings just about two months ago. Yet, it is said that the Judiciary Article will be the most controversial item on the agenda of the Convention. Who are likely to oppose real changes that would benefit all the people of the State? The obvious answer would seem to be those who profit by or are content with the status quo - the Chancery lawyer who enjoys a friendly relationship with members of the court; the practitioner who, conscientious though he may be, is incapable of adjusting to anything new regardless of its merits and identifies that which he has long known with revered, albeit indefensible, tradition; possibly some members of the judiciary who are not in the over-brudened portion of the court system; certainly, the political leader who is content with things judicial as they are; and a small minority of members of the bench and bar who sincerely approve of the present system.
On the other hand, many members of the bench and bar, the progressive political leaders of both parties, and the informed members of the public will be eager to grasp the opportunity to thoroughly reorganize the court system on a rational, modern basis.
Whether the opportunity for sorely needed court revision is grasped at the Convention will depend on the intelligence, objectivity and courage of the delegates and of certain leaders of the bench and bar and in public life. The influence of the latter, including such men as Governor Driscoll, former Governor Edison, Chancellor Oliphant and Arthur T. Vanderbilt, who will not be delegates, may be the ultimate determinant as to whether New Jersey goes forward with a modern, efficient court system or remains saddled with a system rooted in the dark ages of the English judiciary. Upon the integrity, selflessness and foresight of these delegates and leaders will depend the sorely needed improvement in the state administration of justice. Acknowledging the force of human frailties, it may fairly be stated that the true measure of their stature in the history of New Jersey will be judged by the extent of their contribution to judicial reform in the Constitutional Convention of 1947.
In this series of front page editorials, running for the next two months, the Journal proposes to discuss the principal questions which the Constitutional Convention will be obliged to answer this summer when it comes to consider our court system. The edi-
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