N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 697


New Jersey Committee for Constitutional Revision James Kerney, Jr., President 

July 11, 1947
 Dean Frank H. Sommer, Chairman Judiciary Committee Constitutional Convention New Brunswick, New Jersey

My Dear Dean Sommer:

The New Jersey Committee for Constitutional Revision has carefully studied testimony of witnesses before the Judiciary Committee of the Constitutional Convention. This study has convinced us that there is no weighty nor even adequate evidence in opposition to the creation of a single court of original general jurisdiction and a single court of appeals. Beyond that, there has been absolute unanimity among the witnesses on the merits of life tenure for the members of our courts. These two phases of revision appear to our committee as being among the most important aspects of the constitutional question in New Jersey.

There have been some witnesses who spoke in behalf of retention of the Chancery Court. They have produced no evidence that equity jurisprudence cannot be maintained in an integrated court. The Committee for Constitutional Revision deeply regrets that some advocates of the Chancery Court saw fit to raise issues which are not germane to the discussions of an integrated court. No one has testified to the need for any change in the principles or practices of our divorce courts except advocates of the Chancery Court who charged that an integrated court was proposed as an effort to "liberalize" divorces. To the best of our knowledge, none of the advocates of an integrated court system propose anything but complete retention of the present divorce practices in the new court structure. We are confident that you and the members of your Committee will not be swayed by any effort to raise religious questions for demagogic purposes.

It is the impression of all of the members of our organization that you and the members of the Judiciary Committee have conducted the hearings in an exemplary manner, and we are confident that the report you draft will bring a better court system to New Jersey.

Faithfully yours,James Kerney, Jr.

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