U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


2019 Term

Oral Argument Date

March 25, 2020


Questions Presented

1. Does the First Amendment invalidate a longstanding state constitutional provision that limits judges affiliated with any one political party to no more than a "bare majority" on the State's three highest courts, with the other seats reserved for judges affiliated with the "other major political party''?

2. Did the Third Circuit err in holding that a provision of the Delaware Constitution requiring that no more than a "bare majority" of three of the state courts may be made up of judges affiliated with any one political party is not severable from a provision that judges who are not members of the majority party on those courts must be members of the other "major political party," when the former requirement existed for more than fifty years without the latter, and the former requirement, without the latter, continues to govern appointments to two other courts?

Case Updates

U.S. Supreme Court holds that the plaintiff lawyer lacked standing to challenge Delaware’s political-balance requirements for judicial appointments

December 10, 2020

Click here to view the opinion. The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief at the merits stage defending the constitutionality of those requirements.

U.S. Chamber files merits-stage amicus brief in the Supreme Court supporting Delaware’s judicial-balance requirements for state judges

January 28, 2020

The Chamber’s brief argues that the Court’s “political patronage” cases do not apply when evaluating a First Amendment challenge to a State’s efforts to achieve political balance on the judiciary, and that Delaware’s judicial-balance requirements serve important government interests.

Gregory G. Garre of Latham & Watkins LLP served as co-counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.

Case Documents