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involving one thousand dollars or less the Supreme Court shall have no jurisdiction. Now, Mr. President, I am afraid that my friend has not considered the bill carefully. He certainly would not wish to create an erroneous impression, therefore I feel that I am correct in this statement. The bill provides that the Supreme Court shall not entertain jurisdiction of writs of error unless the amount in money or value exceeds the sum of one thousand dollars, but, Mr. President, in that same article it is provided that, in any case whenever a judge of the Supreme Court shall so certify, any case may be brought from the court of appeals to the Supreme Court; and whenever the judges of the court of appeals shall so certify, the case shall likewise go from the court of appeals to the Supreme Court without reference to any other limitation. Therefore, a man whose all is wrapped up in litigation, whether it be $1 or $999.99, can have his case, if there are in that case questions of sufficient dignity and importance, at last heard before the highest court in the land, and carried to that court upon an examination of the record, so that the poor man has his little given the same rights as the rich man. The small case is taken care of as well as the large one, and calculating the number of trials you ascertain from the bill that the little case, under one thousand dollars, may be tried once in the trial court, once in the court of appeals and once in the Supreme Court, receiving three judicial hearings, whereas the case involving more than one thousand dollars can be tried once in the trial court and once in the Supreme Court, so that upon actual count, numerically the little case has the advantage. We think, Mr. President, that the provision in the bill is in accordance with the established policy of the State of Georgia. If a man goes into the justice court and loses his case, he is entitled on appeal to a trial before a jury in that court. If the jury decides against him he is entitled to a certiorari, then he is entitled to an appeal to the Supreme Court, so that his case has received fourconsiderations at the hands of the court instead of one trial in the superior court and one trial in the Supreme Court. So I think the bill is not open to the objection made by my distin-guished friend when he comes to consider it more carefully.
As to the other objection, there is a great division, and I do not wish to be understood as desiring to take up the time of the Association in the discussion of that question. It is a fundamental and general law; men will differ, and that differenceof opinion will continue as long as courts last, as to the mannerof the selection of the judges; whether they shall be elected by the people or appointed by the executive. So far as thecommittee is concerned, it is fair to state, it is proper to state, there was a slight difference of opinion among the members of the committee. Two members of the committee were radically opposed to the election of the judges by the people, but all the other members of the committee were insistent on the election of the judges by the people. I desire to state with reference to that part of the bill, that it is the public policy of the State of Georgia, as now declared in our economic law, that the judges shall be elected by the people, and the committee saw no reason why the judges of the court of appeals should be selected in any manner different from that in which the judges of other courts. are elected. You will observe that the first selection of judges. was left to the Governor. That was done as a matter of economy to the people. The first terms would be so short, only for a period of two years, that it was not thought desirable to involvethe State and the people in a contest for the election of fivejudges for so short a time, and as the bill upon its inauguration into actual practice would be something of an experiment, it was thought wisest to let the Governor appoint the judges.
for the first two years and after that time the election of the judges should be left to the people.
There is the suggestion that the term of the judges be made twelve years instead of six. Upon that there was some slight division in the committee, but it was quickly removed, and it was determined that inasmuch as the policy of the State was fully declared in that the judges of the Supreme Court were elected for six years, there was no good reason why the terms of the judges of the court of appeals should be for longer, and consequently the terms were fixed the same as the terms of the judges of the Supreme Court.
Of course upon these details gentlemen will differ, and there is no possible argument, no way of bringing all minds together upon these details, and generally the members of the General Assembly will, in the disposition of matters of this kind, leave them to their individual opinion where they have tried to meet them upon anything like reason and logic.
Now as to the bill as a whole. It ought to be generally acceptable to the people. It ought to be generally acceptable to this Association. It is a working bill; it is a practicable bill. It is a bill which if carried into execution will afford the relief desired to this highest court in the land; laying a line of policy that in the course of a few years should result, I say it with becoming respect, in a great modification of what is now a curse by reason of this state of the law. The proposition was not so much at last to relieve the Supreme Court, although that is the present aim, but in the last analysis the object of this bill is to relieve the people. It is not the court that suffers when an erroneous decision is made; it is not the Court that suffers when it declares one day this is the law and to-morrow is compelled to reverse it. Who is the sufferer? Not the lawyer, but the great mass of the people who suffer by reason of the uncertainty of the law, and therefore this bill was projected by the committeee upon this line, and while it is nominated a bill for the relief of the Supreme Court, it is not less a bill for the protection of the people, and I trust it will receive the endorsement of the Association.
Mr. Barrow: The suggestions made by the Chairman of the committee are in the main suggestions we have approved, but what I said at first, I respectfully submit remains true, that cases involving less than one thousand dollars can only find their way into the Supreme Court as a matter of grace and favor and not as a matter of legal right. I stated in the beginning that it could go to the Supreme Court if the Supreme Court saw fit to send down a certiorari or if the district court of appeals saw fit to certify it to the Supreme Court. What I want to see put in that bill is that any citizen may, whose case involves a question of law, take his case to the Supreme Court as a matter of legal right and not as a matter of grace and favor. It is quite true, as my friend says, that he can get a hearing in the Supreme Court if he can succeed in getting his case there. It is not right to put that provision in the bill. I do not desire to make any motion to amend, but it is no answer to the proposition that a man should have the right to take his case to the Supreme Court regardless of amount as a matter of right, to say that he will have the right to carry it there as a mere matter of grace and favor.
Now those with whom I agree have suggested twelve years instead of six because they thought it was an improvement. The fact that at present Supreme Court justices are only appointed for six years is no argument. They ought to be there for twelve years or longer. For the judges of the courts to enter a political campaign before the people every six years is a great calamity; a great calamity to the court for them to
have to canvass the State every two or four years. If we could make the terms of the judges of the Supreme Court twelve years that would be a still further improvement. Why there is no particular sanctity about the present method. It has only been in force two or three years. The Constitution of 1868 provided that the judges should be appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of the Senate. The Constitution of 1877 provided that they should be elected by the General Assembly and that remained in force for awhile and then this change was made providing that they should be elected by the people of the State. This has been modified by the ruling of our Democratic Executive Committee so that we hold: a primary in our particular circuit to select our judge, and that is ratified by the general convention. At least the judge of the Eastern Circuit is elected by the people of that circuit. I am elected by the people of Chatham county, and the judge of the Atlantic circuit is elected by the people of Bryan, Effingham, etc. The mode of election as prescribed by our Constitution is not the form pursued in actual practice. They ought to be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
As to felonies, I still think, if we want to raise the Supreme Court of Georgia to that high level where calm, dispassionate judgment can be rendered upon important questions of law, they ought not to be bothered with hog-stealing cases.
The President: I desire to announce the Cornmittee on Nominations. Of course it is desired that they should get together as promptly as possible, probably immediately after the adjournment for the noon recess.
1st District, A. A. Lawrence. 2d District, M. J. Yeomans. 3d District, U. V. Whipple. 4th District, B. S. Miller.