Vaughn should be next chief justice

January 20, 2014

Contrary to the rubber-stamp philosophy of the Democratically-controlled Delaware State Senate, James T. Vaughn Jr., current president judge of the Superior Court, is the superlative choice to be confirmed as the next Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.

As acknowledged in the extensive news coverage of Chief Chancery Court Judge Leo Strine's nomination by Gov. Jack Markell, very few Chancery Court cases are appealed to the Supreme Court.

The position of Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court is a leadership position and should be filled by a man with proven leadership ability. A review of Judge Vaughn's life experiences as a veteran, Clayton town councilman and mayor, elected Smyrna School District board member, and other  community involvement are demonstrations of his recognized leadership abilities both in and out of his chosen profession of law.

Let us not forget that State Senate confirmation of Strine would leave Kent County without a representative on the Dover-based Delaware Supreme Court, inasmuch as Justice Ridgely has relocated to Rehoboth Beach.

While Judge Strine's limited background undoubtedly qualifies him to be nominated as a future Supreme Court Associate Justice, his resume does not support his elevation to Chief Justice.

Perhaps within the Delaware State Senate, men and women exist with the backbone to say to Gov. Markell, "Right man, wrong position" and reject Strine's nomination with the full understanding that the next eminent vacancy of Associate Justice on the Supreme Court would be his.

Dave Graham


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