Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The silence of Delaware politicians on secret courts is deafening . . .

As I posted yesterday, and the WNJ picked up today, Delaware's Chancery Court is trying to get the Supreme Court to reverse lower court decisions that it is illegal to have secret arbitrations for business disputes.

I love that reasoning of Andrew Pincus, the Washington DC based attorney that you and I are paying to argue against open courts:
“The challenged statute provides an efficient, cost-effective, and prompt means of resolving business disputes, and an additional reason for global firms to domicile in the United States. Because of the importance of this issue, and the job-creating potential for Delaware and the nation of finding innovative solutions to temper the growing costs and delays of resolving business disputes, a definitive answer is being sought from the Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of the Delaware statute,” said attorney Andrew J. Pincus, a Washington D.C.-based attorney that was hired by the state to handle the appeal.
Think about this:  we should design a court system that is efficient, cost-effective, quick, and--most of all--profitable to the State of Delaware.  Note the absence of any argument that such a court system should be either just, publicly accountable, or transparent.

Governor Markell has clearly signaled that he is in favor of secret courts, touting them as just as important as Delaware beaches:
Delaware offers a high quality of life, with beautiful beaches, parks, scenic farmland, a vibrant arts community and a rich cultural and historical heritage. Furthermore, our longtime leadership in corporate law and our Court of Chancery's unmatched expertise in this area have repeatedly earned our state acclaim as the most fair and reasonable legal system for U.S. businesses.
More to the point, his decision to propose Leo Strine--who is the respondent in the lawsuit--is as clear a message as it possibly could be:  Delaware is the home of corporate privilege, and will stay that way.

Oddly, I looked around as hard as far as I could, and while I may have missed something, the response from Delaware's political class on both sides of the exclusively Democratic/Republican aisle is . . . crickets.

Presumably they'd rather take the $1.4 billion in incorporation fees that multi-billion-dollar corporations pay us each year as a bribe to allow them to settle unsightly business disputes outside that horrible public eye.

If you actually expect representatives of the two parties who created this system of secret courts at the Governor's behest in 2009 to find a spine and start discussing either secret courts or corporate welfare--or even real campaign finance reform--then you might as well keep voting for them and keep expecting the Phillies to find some new young talent.


Anonymous said...

secret court should be triple damages to state general fund. Give money to schools.

Arthur said...

So basically they want to offer corporations in Delaware what they don't want Switzerland to offer individuals?