ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 47

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN DIMAIO

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

Assemblyman  PARKER SPACE

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Handlin and Phoebus

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides for 5 year terms for Justices of the Supreme Court and for tenure elections for a Justice to receive tenure upon reappointment.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


A Concurrent Resolution proposing an amendment to Article VI, section VI, paragraph 3 and adding a new section to Article VI of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey.

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):

 

     1.    The following proposed amendments to the Constitution of the State of New Jersey are hereby agreed to:

 

PROPOSED AMENDMENT

 

     a.     Amend Article VI, Section VI, paragraph 3 to read as follows:

     3.    a.  The Justices of the Supreme Court shall hold their offices for an initial term of 5 years.  Upon reappointment the Justices shall hold their offices for subsequent terms of 5 years and there shall be no limitation on the number of terms which a Justice may serve.  A Justice shall not receive tenure unless and until that Justice is reappointed and is approved for tenure by the voters as provided in Article VI, Section IX.  If a Justice is not approved for tenure by the voters, that Justice may be appointed for another term of 5 years.  A justice shall be retired upon attaining the age of 70 years.  Provisions for the pensioning of the Justices of the Supreme Court shall be made by law.

     b.    The [Justices of the Supreme Court and the] Judges of the Superior Court shall hold their offices for initial terms of 7 years and upon reappointment shall hold their offices during good behavior; provided however, that, upon the abolition of the juvenile and domestic relations courts or family court and county district courts as provided by law, the judges in office in those former courts who have acquired tenure and the Judges of the Superior Court who have acquired tenure as a judge in those former courts prior to appointment to the Superior Court, shall have tenure as Judges of the Superior Court. Judges of the juvenile and domestic relations courts or family court and county district courts who have not acquired tenure as a judge of those former courts shall hold their offices for the period of their respective terms which remain unexpired and shall acquire tenure upon reappointment to the Superior Court.  Such [justices and] judges shall be retired upon attaining the age of 70 years. Provisions for the pensioning of the [Justices of the Supreme Court and the] Judges of the Superior Court shall be made by law.

(cf: Article VI, Section VI, paragraph 3; effective December 8, 1983)

     b.    Amend Article VI of the Constitution by the addition of the following section:

Section IX

     1.    a. Whenever a justice of the Supreme Court has been reappointed the question of whether the justice shall be retained in office and receive tenure for that office shall be submitted by referendum to the people at the general election next following that reappointment.

     The question of whether a justice should be retained in office and receive tenure shall be included on the ballot as follows:

     "Shall . . . (insert name of justice) of the Supreme Court who has served on the Supreme Court since . . .(insert date of initial appointment) be retained in office and receive tenure for that office?  Yes [    ]  No [   ]

     b.    If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retaining a justice in office, a vacancy shall exist as of the date the results of the election are certified by the Secretary of State.

     c.     If a majority of voters vote against retaining a justice in office, that justice shall not be eligible for any subsequent appointment to the Supreme Court.

 

     2.    When this proposed amendment to the Constitution is finally agreed to pursuant to Article IX, paragraph 1 of the Constitution, it shall be submitted to the people at the next general election occurring more than three months after the final agreement and shall be published at least once in at least one newspaper of each county designated by the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly and the Attorney General, not less than three months prior to the general election.

 

     3.    This proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted to the people at that election in the following manner and form:

     There shall be printed on each official ballot to be used at the general election, the following:

     a.     In every municipality in which voting machines are not used, a legend which shall immediately precede the question, as follows:

     If you favor the proposition printed below make a cross (X), plus (+), or check (T) in the square opposite the word "Yes."  If you are opposed thereto make a cross (X), plus (+) or check (T) in the square opposite the word "No."

     b.  In every municipality the following question.


 

 

 

 

 

ESTABLISHMENT OF TENURE ELECTIONS FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YES

Shall the amendments to Article VI of the State Constitution, agreed to by the Legislature, providing that the Justices of the Supreme Court shall hold their offices for an initial term of 5 years and, upon reappointment, shall hold their offices for   subsequent terms of 5 years, without limitation on the number of terms which a Justice may serve, but that a Justice shall not receive tenure unless and until that Justice is reappointed and is approved for tenure by the voters, be approved?

 

 

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO

Presently, Supreme Court justices receive tenure, after serving an initial seven year term, upon reappointment by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.   This amendment would provide for 5 year terms for Justices of the Supreme Court.  There would be no limitation on the number of terms which a Justice may serve, but no Justice would receive tenure unless and until that Justice is reappointed and is approved for tenure by the voters in a tenure election. As under present law, justices would be retired at 70 years of age.

 

SCHEDULE

 

     This constitutional amendment shall, if approved, take effect on January 1, next following the general election at which it was approved and shall be applicable to Supreme Court justices whose initial term expires on or after that date.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Presently, Supreme Court justices serve an initial seven-year term and receive tenure upon reappointment by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.  This concurrent resolution proposes a constitutional amendment that would provide for 5 year terms for Justices of the Supreme Court.  There would be no limitation on the number of terms which a Justice may serve, but no Justice would receive tenure unless and until that Justice is reappointed and is approved for tenure by the voters in a tenure election.  If a Justice is not approved by the voters for tenure, he would remain eligible for reappointment to another 5 year term, at the discretion of the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.  As under present law, justices would be retired at 70 years of age.