N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 737
express purpose of avoiding such a possibility. The justices shall be assigned, from time to time, by the judges of the Court of Errors and Appeals, in an effort to avoid the possibility of building up a strong political machine which, unfortunately, is the present deplorable situation in our courts to-day, both as to the Democratic Party and likewise in the Republican Party. Let us have a good house cleaning.
There should be a Circuit Court, which shall have criminal jurisdiction in all cases and in civil cases, up to the sum of $1,000.00, in order to relieve the Supreme Court of considerable work. Where all the parties to the suit reside in the same county the papers in the cause shall be filed in that particular county, but there shall be a master index in the main office in Trenton, so that litigants and their attorneys may know where papers are filed. No judge of this court shall sit in the city or county in which he resides and he shall be assigned by the justices of the Supreme Court and shall be rotated from county to county. The purpose of rotation, as to all judges, is to avoid the political possibility I spoke of above. No judges in the Circuit and Supreme Court shall sit in any one county more than three months and he shall not be permitted to sit in any one county more than once a year.
The office of justice of the peace shall not be continued; under present conditions such office is no longer necessary.
All attorneys shall be permitted to practice before all the courts; there shall be no distinction.
No judge shall be appointed unless he shall have first been a resident and member of the bar for at least ten years. There shall be no distinction as to race, sex, religion or previous condition of servitude. No judge shall be permitted to practice law, directly or indirectly, and in violation thereof shall be dismissed from the bench for all time, disbarred from practice, denied the right to ever hold any public office at any time, and shall forever forfeit his right to vote. A judge should be like Caesar's wife - above reproach; which unfortunately is not the case to-day.
A judge may be appointed for five years and, if qualified, reappointed for another five years. No judge shall at any time hold more than two appointments, that is to say, he shall not hold judicial office for more than ten years, whether it be two consecutive terms or different separate terms. The continuous reappointment of judges only tends to build up a strong political machine, as witness our present and past experiences.
None of the present judges shall be subject, at any time, to appointment to the new judicial system. If we are to have a new Constitution, then let us also have a new list of judges whose hands will not be tied, we hope, who can act with a clear mind and an
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