Administrative History

Chapter 189 of the Laws of 1890 established the Constitutional Commission to propose to the legislature amendments to article 6 of the state constitution, which applied to the state's judiciary. The legislature has broad authority to propose state constitution amendments and to convene constitutional conventions. With consent of the senate, the governor designated members of the commission, which represented all state judicial districts. Judge Francis H. Woods was chairman of the commission. The commission investigated the workings of county, surrogate, and supreme courts. Issues included the organization and scheduling of general term departments; numbers of judges necessary to conduct court business (e.g. how many justices of the supreme court should constitute a department); if the Court of Appeals should remain as constituted; and whether election of judges should be statewide or according to judicial departments. Work of the commission led to adoption of a revised judiciary article.