To mark the retirement of Chancery Court Chancellor Andre Bouchard, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware activists protested alongside a giant 12-foot inflatable rat and called for increased transparency, accountability, and diversity on the court moving forward.
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On Thursday, dozens of protesters demonstrated outside of the Chancery Court while cars driving by honked their horns in support of the protest. They believe that in his years as Chancellor, Bouchard has failed time and again to heed any calls for change and reform in America’s top business court, which they feel does not reflect the diversity of Delaware’s population.
As Andre Bouchard’s term comes to an end, there are still no cameras in the court, no disclosures for conflicts of interest, millions of dollars in undisclosed legal fees have been rubber-stamped, and the court remains all-white. CPBD has been advocating for years to right these wrongs and move the court towards greater transparency and diversity, but Bouchard has steadfastly resisted all attempts for court reform.
Alongside Governor Carney, Bouchard ignored the voices of civil rights activists like the Reverend Al Sharpton and Pastor Blaine Hackett, along with over 2,000 Delaware residents that petitioned for a Black justice to take Bouchard’s seat.
Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, “In light of recent social movements and progressive national leadership, there is no excuse for Delaware’s courts to continue to be so retrograde. Unfortunately, Chancellor Bouchard has too often chosen to stand by the status quo rather than support even modest reforms to the court’s operations. From refusing to entertain even common-sense reforms to make the court more transparent, like cameras in the courts, to failing to stand up for diversity against the ‘Delaware Old Boys’ Club,’ to approving millions of dollars in non-itemized charges by court-appointed custodians, Chancellor Bouchard’s reign has been marked by a lack of transparency. With him off the court, we look forward to building on our efforts to bring real change to a court that has failed the people it claims to serve.”
With Bouchard’s reign ending, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is hosting a farewell party on Friday evening for members of the group and TransPerfect employees. Special guests Reverend Al Sharpton and Pastor Blaine Hackett will join to share their experiences fighting for diversity on Delaware’s courts, and CPBD Campaign Manager Chris Coffey will speak to the organization’s ongoing efforts.
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives, and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the unprecedented forced sale of TransPerfect. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.
Sarah Hardy, email@example.com