DOVER, Del., Oct. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to a letter written and signed by the Multicultural Judges & Lawyers Section of the Delaware State Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware, the Delaware Hispanic Bar Association, and the Delaware Barristers Association, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey has released the following statement:
"Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is deeply gratified by this letter that supports our mission to increase diversity in the Delaware Courts. We commend these groups for their efforts in the fight against those in the Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA) who are committed to protecting the status quo, despite the thousands of Delawareans who have made clear the Courts need reform and a diverse bench.
These organizations agree that something is wrong when there has never been a black Supreme Court Justice in Delaware History. They agree that something is wrong when white men make up just 32% of Delaware's population, but 80% of the Supreme Court. And unlike the DSBA, they understand that a diverse bench is crucial in administering an impartial and fair justice system. We look forward to continuing the fight for diversity and judicial reform alongside them.
Governor Carney has a choice: he can stick to the status quo which puts profits for law firms over people, or he can make history by appointing Delaware's first Supreme Court Justice of color."
The letter from the Multicultural Judges & Lawyers Section of the Delaware State Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware, the Delaware Hispanic Bar Association, and the Delaware Barristers Association:
"September 26, 2019
The Honorable John Carney
Governor of the State of Delaware
Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French Street, 12th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
Re: Appointment to the Delaware Supreme Court
Dear Governor Carney:
On behalf of the Multicultural Judges & Lawyers Section of the Delaware State Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware, the Delaware Hispanic Bar Association, and the Delaware Barristers Association, we urge you to consider racial and ethnic diversity when making the next appointment to the Delaware Supreme Court. Specifically, we strongly encourage you to take diversity into account when considering the composition of the Delaware Supreme Court.
The mission of our respective organizations is, in part, to support the interests of attorneys, judges and members of the community from diverse ethnic backgrounds. We are dedicated to cultivating and improving diversity in the legal field. Advocating for increased diversity and inclusion strategies within our profession, including those that affect our highest court, is, collectively, one of our highest priorities.
As we are sure you know, a diverse bench is important for maintaining public trust and confidence in the judiciary and our elected officials. We acknowledge that Delaware's Supreme Court has made strides with respect to diversity related to gender, socio-economic background, political affiliation, and practice areas. We must note, however, that since its inception in the State Constitution of 1792, the Delaware Supreme Court has never included a person of color. The minority population of our state is approximately 38%f, making Delaware one of the most racially diverse states in the country. Yet, our highest Court fails to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves, as well as the individuals and businesses that appear before it.
In July 2019, you penned an Op-Ed for the Delaware News Journal highlighting the "progress on the issues Delaware cares about" since you became Governor in 2017. Like those issues, the racial makeup of the highest court in our state is absolutely an issue that we, and you, should care about. Since Chief Justice String announced his retirement there have been several articles that discuss this issue. We call upon you as our Governor, who represents all of the people of our state, and is the appointing authority for judges in Delaware, to ensure that the highest State Court becomes racially and ethnically diverse. There is no shortage of well-qualified candidates of color. Now is the time.
If you would like to set up a meeting to further discuss this issue, we welcome the opportunity to dialogue on this matter.
Kiadii S. Harmon
Chair, Multicultural Judges & Lawyers Association of the DSBA
President, South Asian Bar Association of Delaware
Tabatha L. Castro
President, Hispanic Bar Association
Oderah C. Nwaeze
President, Delaware Barristers Association"
Contact: Chris Coffey, 917-972-7514
SOURCE Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware