N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 723


Samuel W. Boardman, Jr. Counsellor at Law Cedar Grove, New Jersey 

July 21, 1947
 Nathan Jacobs, Esq. Constitutional Convention Rutgers Campus New Brunswick, N. J.

Dear Mr. Jacobs:

Although my present blindness prevents my coming personally to New Brunswick, I trust that my views expressed in writing may have effect.

First, we should have a distinct and independent court at the top of our judicial system, which court should be called "The Court of Appeals." I believe that the man on the street and the civics pupils in the schools can understand that name, while they cannot see why "Errors" should appear in the name of our highest court. The Court of Appeals should consist of five or six jurists, two of whom, in my opinion, should be specialists in equity jurisprudence.

As to another high court, I urge a change of name. Lawyers of course understand that the New Jersey Supreme Court is the highest court in which an action at law can be instituted, but the ordinary citizen cannot conceive why we should call a court "Supreme" when its decisions can be appealed from and sometimes reversed. Let the highest law court whose decisions can be reversed by the Court of Appeals be called "The Superior Court" instead of "The Supreme Court." Another advantage of the change will be to avoid confusion with our highest federal court. At present it is impossible to tell whether the United States Supreme Court or the State Supreme Court is meant.

The Court of Chancery should be preserved as it is. The Chancellor, to be sure, will no longer preside over our court of last resort, but no part of our judicial system functions more admirably than does our Court of Chancery. New Jersey's equity administration is recognized as superior to that of many states which have abolished the court of chancery. There is and should be a separate jurisprudence distinguishing equity where conscience rules and the main aim is to achieve results which are just and equitable in particular cases; in contrast to the law system where decisions must be made

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