The Delaware Senate has confirmed a new Chief Justice to the State Supreme Court and made history with the first African American Associate Justice.
Gathering for a special session to consider the nominees, Senators voted 21-0 to confirm Justice Collins J. Seitz as Delaware’s newest Chief Justice and Vice-Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves as Delaware’s newest associate justice.
Seitz, who has served on the Supreme Court since 2015, will become the 27th chief justice. A life-long Delawarean and graduate of Tower Hill, Seitz has been a member of the Delaware Bar since 1983.
Vice-chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves will move up from the Chancery Court to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Justice Leo Strine, becoming the first African-American justice on Delaware’s highest court in the process.
“Delaware’s judiciary is one of the most highly regarded institutions in the world and it has earned that reputation by cultivating an elite pool of lawyers, judges, and experts,” said Senate Pro Tem David McBride, D-Hawk’s Nest. “As Senators, we play a small but important role in sustaining that level of excellence by confirming judicial nominees and I can say with confidence that today’s nominees are some of the best we have ever considered. I was supremely impressed by their experience, their commitment to the law and justice in this state, and their testimony in the Senate chamber today. It is my hope that all Delawareans will join my colleagues and me in celebrating today’s unanimous confirmation votes.”
“Thank you to the members of the Delaware Senate for their votes to confirm Justice Seitz as our next Chief Justice,” said Governor Carney. “Justice Seitz is one of Delaware’s finest legal minds, and has the judgment, sense of fairness, and experience necessary to maintain and build on the Delaware courts’ reputation as objective, stable, and nonpartisan.
“Since 2015, Vice Chancellor Montgomery-Reeves has served with distinction on Delaware’s Court of Chancery – our country’s premier venue for corporate litigation,” said Governor Carney. “Before her appointment to the Court of Chancery, Vice Chancellor Montgomery-Reeves practiced corporate law in Wilmington and New York. She has the experience and sense of justice necessary to serve on our Supreme Court. Thank you to the members of the Delaware Senate for their votes to confirm these two nominees.”
The moves come immediately following the October 31 retirement of Chief Justice Leo Strine, who had served in the top seat since 2014.