N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 700

STATEMENT OF NEW JERSEY STATE FEDERATION OF LABOR

(Excerpt of recommendations relating to the Judicial Article)

JUDICIARY

Article VI

1. Election of Judges

All judges, except municipal magistrates, should be elected by the people. The experience in New York with the election of judges has produced a judicial calibre equal to or better than that found in any other state. Above all, it will reduce the degree of political subservience of judges to the appointing authority.

2. Court of Chancery

We recommend the elimination of the Court of Chancery as such, and the merger of its functions with the court of general jurisdiction.

3. Simplification and Unification of Court Structure

We support the unification of our courts and the simplification of judicial procedure. Highly technical matters of procedure and jurisdiction should not be permitted to defeat a litigant whose cause of action is just.

4. Constitutional Jurisdiction of the Courts

The Constitution should not, as it has in the past, vest in the courts a jurisdictional power which cannot be removed by the Legislature. It should be specifically provided that the courts shall have such jurisdiction as may be vested in them by act of the Legislature. Without such a provision, the basic theory of checks and balances would be destroyed. The only irrevocable power which should be vested in the courts is the power to enforce, interpret and apply the provisions of the Constitution and of legislative enactments in the light of the Constitution.


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