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Proceedings and Debates of the 1850 Constitutional Convention
Volume 101, Volume 2, Debates 545   View pdf image
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ted as to whether another Convention shall be
held to alter the Constitution. We are about
to enter upon a great rendition of Constitutional
reform. The High Court of Chancery, with
its present able and justly esteemed and popu-
lar Chancellor, has gained for that court, by
his practice, courtesey and decisions, an en-
viable eminence which Maryland should be
proud of. Let that court at least stand as it
has, the test of time, unimpeached, unimpeach-
able; let the suitor have at least one resort
where he may look with confidence for justice,
equity and impartiality with promptness, in the
discharge of the duties of the office. The me-
rit of the proposed system is that it is simple,
comprehenive, easily understood—laying down
the great land marks of justice and equity, and
leaving to future legislatures to amend and cor-
rect any defects or omissions.
With regard to expense, it is less than either
the present system, that of the report of the ma-
jority of the committee on the Judiciary, or of
minority report.
The Judges and Chancellors will have abund-
ance of duties to perform, without being over-
burdened, so as to neglect any portion of them.
The amount now paid to the Judges of the Or-
phans' Courts in the several counties and city
of Baltimore, as estimated by the Judiciary
Committee, will more than pay the salaries of
the Chancellor, including the duties of the Or-
phans' Court.
The expense of the eight judges for the infe-
rior judicial districts is less by $800 annually,
than is now paid to the Associate Judges of the
city courts.
The expense of the Judges of the Court of
Appeal, would be less by $3,200 annually, than
under the present system.
The issues would be less by several thousand
dollars annually, than the plan proposed by the
Judiciary Committee. So that in point of econ-
omy, it recommends itself to the consideration
of the Convention.
Mr. JENIFER said he was free to say that,
although economy in all departments of the
Government should be looked to with a scrutinizing
eye, he did not consider the most econo-
mical Judiciary system the best, A sound Ju-
diciary system should be adopted, cost what it
might—the life, liberty and property of all
classes of citizens may depend upon a due ad-
ministration of justice and your courts of law
and equity should be filled with able, experi-
enced and holiest men. To obtain such ade-
quate salaries should be given—and when he
reflected that the Court of Appeals was the
Court of dernier resort, to which decision all
must yield, Mr. J. said he thought the salaries
proposed too low at best.
As regards the judiciary for the city of Balti-
more, Mr. J. said he had left it as reported by
the Committee on the Judiciary, the more espe-
cially as there was a learned gentleman from that
city on that committee, and he felt disposed to
vote for such modifications, if any were required,
as might he approved by the representatives from
With this explanation of Ins views upon the
amendment or substitute, Mr. J. said he should
leave it, dependent upon the report now under
consideration, whether, and at what time, he
should offer it as a substitute. He asked that it
should he printed,
Mr. Jenifer gave notice that at the proper time
he should offer the following as a substitute to the
report of the Committee on the Judiciary, which
he desired should be entered upon the record:
Section 1. There shall be a Court of Appeals,
which shall have, use, and exercise all and every
the powers, authorities, and jurisdiction of the
existing Court of Appeals, and such additional
power, authority, and jurisdiction as may be con-
ferred by the constitution and laws made pursuant
thereto, and its judgments shall be final and con-
clusive in all cases whatever.
Sec. 2. The Court of Appeals shall hold its
sessions at the seat of government, at least twice
in every year, and oftener if required. In every
case decided, an opinion in writing shall be filed,
and provisions shall be made by law for publish-
ing reports of cases argued and determined in
said court.
Sec. 3. The Court of Appeals shall consist of
four judges, learned in the law, any three of
whom shall constitute a quorum for the transac-
tion of business.
Sec. 4. The State shall be divided into four
districts, to be called Superior Judicial Districts,
from one of each of which a judge shall be ap-
pointed. The districts to be composed in the fol-
lowing manner: The counties of St. Mary's,
Charles, Prince George's Calvert, Anne Arundel,
Montgomery, and Howard to be the 1st district.
The counties of Harford, Baltimore, Carroll,
Frederick, Washington, and Allegany, to be the
2d district. The city of Baltimore to be the 3d
district. The counties of Worcester, Somerset,
Dorchester, Talbot, Caroline, Queen Anne's,
Kent, and Cecil to be the 4th district.
Sec. 6. No person who is not a citizen of the
United States, or who shall not have attained the
age of 30 years, or who has not been admitted to
practice law in the State, or who shall not have
been a citizen of the State at least five years, and
at the time of his appointment, a resident of the
superior judicial district for which he shall be
appointed, at least two years immediately prece-
ding his appointment, shall be eligible to the of-
fice of judge of the Court of Appeals of this State.
Sec. 6. The judges of the Court of Appeals
shall be appointed by the Governor for the time
being, with the advice and consent of the Senate,
one of whom shall be designated as chief judge,
the others as associates, whose term of service
shall be for twelve years: Provided, however,
that no judge shall remain in office after he has
arrived at sixty-five years of age.
Sec, 7. The salary of each judge of the Court
of Appeals shall be $2,500 annually, which shall
not be diminished during their continuance in
Sec. 8. The Court of Appeals shall appoint
its own clerk, who shall hold his office for six

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1850 Constitutional Convention
Volume 101, Volume 2, Debates 545   View pdf image
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