N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 96

STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

Wednesday, June 25, 1947 (Afternoon session)

(The session began at 3:00 P. M.)

PRESENT: Brogan, Dixon, Drenk, Jacobs, McGrath, McMurray, Miller, G. W., Peterson, H. W. and Smith, G. F.

VICE-CHAIRMAN NATHAN L. JACOBS: Who is appearing for the Gloucester County Bar Association?

MR. WADSWORTH CRESSE, JR.: My name is Wadsworth Cresse, Jr. I am an attorney-at-law with offices in Woodbury, Gloucester County. I represent the Gloucester County Bar Association; and I request the permission of the Chairman and the Committee to file with your Secretary a formal statement that we have prepared and, briefly, to expand that orally.1 The statement appears in the Appendix to these Committee Proceedings.

The position we take is that it would be, in our opinion, a mistake to disregard all of the spade work that has been done in the past for the drafting of the judicial section in the Constitution. We have made a study of the 1944 Constitution which was rejected by the people, insofar as it relates to the judiciary, and, in substance, we approved that Constitution or that section of the Constitution.

We have three objections, or three minor reservations, to the judiciary section of the 1944 Constitution. The first of those is the technical point relating to appeals. The 1944 Constitution, Section IV, paragraph 4, might be interpreted to foreclose us from making a motion before a trial court for a new trial. We don't think the section should be so interpreted, but we believe there is a danger of misinterpretation. So, to avoid that possibility of misinterpretation, we suggested the insertion of a few words at the beginning of paragraph 4, to the effect that "notwithstanding a motion for a new trial before the trial court," and so on. That is our first reservation in connection with the 1944 Constitution.

Our second reservation has to do with tenure of justices. We feel that the Chief Justice and the Justices of the Supreme Court should have the same tenure as Justices of the Superior Court. In other words, we feel that they should first serve a term of seven years and then, if reappointed, hold office during good behavior to age 70.

It has been the case in the past where the President of the United States has appointed a Justice to the Supreme Court of the United


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