Delaware constitutional amendment would expand who could certify questions to state’s supreme court; would be third expansion in last 10 years

May 15th, 2014 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

The Delaware legislature appears ready to expand yet again the state supreme court’s ability to hear certified questions of law. If adopted in the 2014 session and again in the 2015/2016 cycle, HB 232 would allow “the highest appellate court of any foreign country, or any foreign governmental agency regulating the public issuance or trading of securities” to certify questions of law to the Delaware high court. The amendment would not have to go before voters.

If adopted this would be the fourth expansion of certified questions of law to the Delaware Supreme Court and the third such expansion in the last decade. The power was conferred on the court via a 1982 constitutional amendment (63 Del. Laws, c. 325) which allowed the Supreme Court to hear certified questions of law from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. It remained as such until changes in 2007 and 2013 opened the certification process to other federal courts as well as state courts of last resort.

  • 1982- “the United States District Court for the District of Delaware”
  • 2007 (76 Del. Laws, c. 37)-”the Supreme Court of the United States, a Court of Appeals of the United States, a United States District Court, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or the highest appellate court of any other state”
  • 2013 (79 Del. Laws, c. 97)- “the Supreme Court of the United States, a Court of Appeals of the United States, a United States District Court, a United States Bankruptcy Court, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or the highest appellate court of any other state”
  • 2016 (?)- “the Supreme Court of the United States, a Court of Appeals of the United States, a United States District Court, a United States Bankruptcy Court, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or the highest appellate court of any other state, the highest appellate court of any foreign country, or any foreign governmental agency regulating the public issuance or trading of securities

Comments are closed.