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Cronyism Crushes Inclusion Yet Again in Latest Chancery Court Appointment

Diversity Sent to Back of the Bus Once More as Connected Skadden Insider Named to Powerful Post

The appointment this week of Bonnie David as master in chancery at the Delaware Court of Chancery exposed once more the lack of commitment to representation on one of the most important and powerful courts in the state and the nation -- and drew fierce fire from civil rights leaders who blasted the blatant disregard for diversity.

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The Judicial Officers of the Delaware Court of Chancery (Photo: Business Wire)

The Judicial Officers of the Delaware Court of Chancery (Photo: Business Wire)

"The addition of yet another plugged-in white Skadden attorney to the Delaware judiciary -- particularly one with as much national reach and impact as the Chancery -- makes a mockery of the values of inclusion and equal opportunity. There are country clubs with more diversity than this powerful court," said civil rights icon Reverend Al Sharpton. "That's an outrage anywhere -- but it's particularly offensive in a state where 30% of the people are nonwhite. It's long past time to break the stranglehold of the elite and powerful on the institutions of justice, and add more legal leaders of color to the bench."

"The Chancery Court is as large as it's ever been, yet remains -- like the entire Delaware judiciary -- overwhelmingly white. This isn't just a missed opportunity to build a fair court system -- it's the continuation of an entrenched system where the rich and powerful law firms like Skadden amass and wield judicial power. Everyone else is shut out of the process, with their noses pressed against the window as key decisions that affect the lives of all Delarareans every single day are handed down imperiously," said prominent Wilmington advocate Keandra McDole. "It's a slap in the face."

The pointed controversy over the David appointment comes on the heels of intense public pressure on Delaware Gov. John Carney to make diverse appointments to two current openings on the state Supreme Court. The recent elevation of Delaware's lone Black justice Tamika Montgomery-Reeves to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals once again leaves Delaware's top two courts without a justice of color.

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