Lawsuit challenges political balance on Delaware courts

(File/WHYY)

(File/WHYY)

A Delaware lawyer says the state’s constitution is unconstitutional in requiring a political balance among judges on Delaware’s courts.

James Adams sued Gov. John Carney on Tuesday over the provision, which mandates that judicial nominations and judgeships be split between the two major political parties.

Adams says selecting judges partially on political affiliation, and excluding members of minority parties, is unconstitutional. He claims that violates the freedom of political association guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Adams, who has worked in private practice and for the Delaware attorney general’s office, was until recently a registered Democrat. He says he has wanted to apply for judgeships in the past but that to do so would have been futile because he was not of the required political party.

Carney’s office declined to comment.

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