Dear Friends,

I am an old white guy, and certainly not sure I agree with all the calls for diversity — because in my view, decisions should be made without regard to race or religion. Best person for the job, that kind of thing, is my motto folks. I know one thing, though, the hypocrisy of Delaware’s Democrats, who preside over all-white courts, yet claim to have Democratic values, makes me ill to my stomach. What are your thoughts on this release from the Citizens Group, with which I usually am in agreement, folks?

Respectfully Yours,

[avatar user=”Judson Bennett” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://twitter.com/Judson_Bennett” target=”_blank”]Judson Bennett, Coastal Network[/avatar]

Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Launches 6-Figure Campaign Calling for Appointment of a Person of Color to Lead Delaware’s Chancery Court

Grassroots activist group will deploy an expansive campaign to replace retiring Chancery Court Chancellor Andre Bouchard with a diverse candidate.

January 13, 2021 08:03 AM Eastern Standard Time
WILMINGTON, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) launched a 6-figure campaign calling for Governor Carney to appoint a person of color to replace retiring Chancellor Andre Bouchard on the currently all-white Chancery Court. The comprehensive campaign will deploy a range of strategies including radio, print ads, and a comprehensive grassroots canvassing campaign to communicate directly with voters and civic leaders to put pressure on Governor Carney to restore diversity on the Chancery Court, which has been all-white since the departure of Justice Tamika Montgomery-Reeves, the only Black person to ever sit on the Chancery Court.

Research from the Brennan Center for Justice and others has unequivocally demonstrated that diverse court composition is critical for applying “equal justice under the law” and enhancing the legitimacy of the courts in the eyes of the citizens it serves. CPBD’s campaign will call for strategic recruitment of diverse candidates and transparency in the nominating and interview process to remedy the fact that people of color make up 60% of the prison population but constitute only 15% of all judges in Delaware.

Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, “We must ask ourselves: if there were more diversity on the benches of Delaware’s highest courts, would sentences be more fair, would the prison population be less disproportionally made up of people of color, would our judges care more about COVID ripping through the prison population?”

Governor Carney’s most recent appointment of Paul Fioravanti Jr. to the Chancery Court, replacing Justice Tamika Montgomery-Reeves – the first Black woman to sit on Delaware’s Supreme Court – was a step backwards in diversifying the Delaware judiciary. Chancellor Bouchard’s impending retirement presents Governor Carney and the nominating commission the chance to do more than pay lip service to equity and diversity.

Continued Coffey, “Governor Carney has an opportunity to finally follow through on his purported commitment to diversity and replace Chancellor Bouchard, whose tenure as head of the Chancery Court was marked by lack of judicial accountability and cronyism, with a person of color who will represent the interests of all Delawareans, rather than an elite few. Our awareness campaign will push tirelessly for a more diverse, fair, and accountable Delaware judiciary.”