Bipartisan Federal Legislation Would Require Stricter Stock Trading Disclosure in Federal Judiciary After Wall Street Journal Investigation Exposed Widespread Self-Dealing by Federal Judges
Similar State-Level Legislation Would Improve Transparency and Limit Opportunities for Corruption in Delaware’s Opaque Chancery Court
WILMINGTON, Del., October 27, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After Delaware Senator Chris Coons introduced a bipartisan bill requiring tighter stock trading disclosures for federal judges, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware renewed its calls for similar legislation to be introduced and enacted on the state level in Delaware to improve transparency within the notoriously opaque and archaic Chancery Court along with other top state courts.
The bill would require judges to report any securities transactions of more than $1,000 into a new, online database following a Wall Street Journal Investigation which exposed 131 federal judges that failed to recuse themselves in nearly 700 cases where the judge or family members held stock with a company involved in the case.
According to Senator Coons, "A fundamental pillar of our justice system is the right to a fair and impartial trial. Litigants need confidence that they will receive an unbiased hearing free from outside influence and based only on the facts and the law."
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware called on Delaware state legislators to follow Senator Coons’ lead and introduce legislation to require more strict financial disclosures by state judges so the public can see the income they receive outside their judicial salaries, including investments, business and charitable affiliations, and gifts.
Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, "We applaud Senator Coons for leading the charge to rein in judicial corruption on the federal level. Now, our state lawmakers need to do the same. For years, we’ve been screaming at the top of our lungs to tighten financial disclosure laws and increase transparency in Delaware courts.
"In a state where corporate and judicial elites all play golf at the same country clubs, run in the same social circles, and shift back and forth between the same top judgeships and leadership positions at corporate law firms, it’s appalling that we have zero visibility into the stocks our judges own and trade. Until we introduce financial transparency in our top courts – particularly the Chancery, which has outsize impact on the stock prices of publicly traded companies – the Delaware judiciary is ripe for the same sort of corruption the Wall Street Journal exposed on the federal level."
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Chris Coffey, firstname.lastname@example.org