Yesterday, Citizens for Judicial Fairness (formerly Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware) hosted a rally alongside Reverend Al Sharpton, Pastor Blaine Hackett, police reform activist and sister of Jeremy McDole Keandra Ray, and dozens of grassroots supporters urging Governor Carney to replace outgoing Chancery Court Chancellor Slights with a Black judge.
Said Reverend Al Sharpton, "When you look at the disproportionate population of Black citizens within this state and look at the all-white Chancery Court, it's like the Rocky Mountains ? the higher up you get, the whiter it gets. It is unfair, it is unjust, and it is an embarrassment to the first state of this country. I wanted to join Pastor Hackett and this group of activists as we continue this drive to call on Governor Carney. Do the right thing. We're not asking for a favor or token, we're asking to stop the unfairness, and stop the lack of balance in this court, in this state of Delaware."
Said Pastor of St. John African Methodist Church, Inc., Blaine Hackett, "If Governor Carney and the legislature of Delaware are serious about diversity and inclusion, this appointment could be the beginning of a new paradigm of reform that could not only change our state but the nation. It could also be a great start in bridging the gaps of disparity in the judicial reform, police reform, prison reform, not to mention social, economic, racial, and political injustices that also corrupt our state. So Governor Carney, we strongly urge you to find and appoint an African American to this seat."
"When I started doing research about the Chancery Court, the first thing I noticed was that there were no African Americans or brown people in the Chancery Court," said police reform activist Keandra Ray. "That is a statement for our children, for my children. If they can look at one of our highest courts in the nation, and see people there that look like us, that will allow them to think of the things they can be when they grow up. So it is important to have diversity in the Chancery Court. It is important and it only makes sense, it's 2022. I don't understand why we are here today demanding this from our Governor. We need diversity in this crooked system."
As part of the rally, Citizens for Judicial Fairness announced a $500,000+ paid media campaign to #ChangeTheChancery through increased equity and diversity. The campaign will include TV, radio, print, digital, and newsletter advertisements to generate attention and urgency around the court's failures of diversity.
Said Citizens for Judicial Fairness Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, "In 230 years, there has been just one Black justice on Delaware's Court of Chancery, the largest business court in the country. That's unacceptable. We're grateful to Reverend Sharpton, Pastor Hackett, and Keandra Ray for joining us in this crucial mission to change this court and this state for the better. Governor Carney, it's time to stop just talking about diversity and start using your power to do something about it ? it's time for a Black justice to break up the all-white Chancery Court."
Citizens for Judicial Fairness (formerly Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware) is a grassroots advocacy organization fighting for transparency, equity, and accountability in state judiciaries across America. Founded by employees of TransPerfect Global in 2016 to fight the Delaware Chancery Court's unprecedented forced sale of TransPerfect, the group has since grown to over 5,000 members nationwide. CJF leverages grassroots pressure, strategic partnerships, and political advocacy to campaign for common-sense solutions to increase transparency and equity in court systems across the country. To learn more about CJF, visit CitizensForJudicialFairness.org