I was thinking about judges and confirmation hearings after recently watching the Senatorial process in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a United States Supreme Court Justice. As I’ve been writing about the TransPerfect Global case, it got me thinking about Delaware’s confirmation process in confirming Andre Bouchard as Delaware’s Chancellor, or lack thereof.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh had a total of 7 FBI investigations, was put through the ringer answering countless questions on uncorroborated allegations, his reputation was tattered, and finally only after completing a nightmare of a process, he was confirmed by the legislative branch.
Did Chancellor Andre Bouchard face any questions about his past judicial decisions? No. About whether he would follow the law faithfully? No. About whether he’d respect the U.S. Constitution given that he’s Canadian by birth? No. About whether he’s even read the U.S. Constitution? No. About whether it is an inherent problem that Chief Justice Leo Strine was his intern at Skadden Arps, and now must judge him on appeals? No.
How do I know this? Because in contrast to Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, Chancellor Andre Bouchard’s hearing lasted a total of 13 minutes and he had to answer a whopping ZERO questions from our state legislature — much like his time on bench. In my view folks, his confirmation hearing was a complete sham!
And after all of that, we’ve seen his true character as a judge coming out over the past few years. As most of you know by now from reading my coverage the past few years of the TransPerfect Global case, Bouchard’s life-long friend, who represented former TransPerfect co-CEO Elizabeth Elting in the trial, attorney Kevin Shannon of Potter Anderson, was given every possible consideration beyond normal reason. Additionally, you also know that Shannon’s windfall victory was tainted by the fact that ZERO witnesses testified against Shawe — and ZERO witnesses corroborated Kevin Shannon’s self-serving story. This alone exposes in my opinion the seemingly dark underbelly of the Delaware elites like Chancellor Bouchard. But there’s another ZERO that perhaps you didn’t know… ????
I would say that your elected officials, and especially Senator Greg Lavelle among others who opposed fixing the inequities in the Chancery Court, surely acted irresponsibly in this situation, because there was no scrutiny whatsoever for Bouchard in the vetting process. The position of Chief Chancellor was/is simply too important a position for Delaware to entrust with a man who has been handed everything in his life based on a privileged upbringing and political favors vs. being the right man with the right character for the job. And, now all of Delaware is paying the price for what can reasonably be viewed from my view as Bouchard’s corruption. In my opinion, Bouchard believes paying people back who supported him in his ZERO-bench-experience ascension to Chancellor is his now job. The $250 million which I believe was stolen from TransPerfect to enrich his elite friends, is the prime example of his abusing his position. Delawareans deserved a confirmation hearing with some level of scrutiny on Andre Bouchard from Mr. Lavelle and our other elected officials. Delawareans deserved a real confirmation hearing — and Delawareans deserve better than Andre Bouchard.
In fact, Bouchard, having no experience as a judge, was lazily confirmed in just 13 minutes by the Delaware Senate, after his appointment by the Governor. It’s glaring and he was not properly vetted! Don’t just take my word for it……
Here’s a quick recount of the hearing from Celia Cohen’s April 10, 2014 Delaware Grapevine story “SPEED-VOTING FOR CHANCELLOR” written just after Bouchard’s appointment: “Thirteen minutes were all it took for Delaware to get a new chancellor…Buying a new pair of shoes has been known to take longer.”
Digging into Bouchard’s past, it doesn’t surprise me that he got this job with no scrutiny whatsoever. In fact, since I have followed the case and witnessed the most biased, ludicrous, mismanaged, and outrageous decisions in Delaware judicial history resulting in fleecing and looting of a healthy Delaware company — it actually makes more sense to me now knowing that Bouchard had a ZERO question confirmation. But that doesn’t make it right!
His tenure as Chancellor is a pathetic embarrassment to the State of Delaware; from his fiasco managing the Sussex County Register of Wills office, where he made 3 inadequate political appointments for Chief Deputy — instead of listening to the best and most experienced person, Cindy Green, the elected Register of Wills.
Unlike Brett Kavanaugh, who was deeply investigated, Bouchard’s past is unknown. I wonder if we really got into it, what we might uncover? Of course, we do know he was a member of the Skadden Arps law firm, which is under investigation by the Feds for various possible violations. Kind of makes Bouchard suspect I think, doesn’t it? By the standards now, it seems that people in esteemed offices are deemed guilty until proven innocent. Brett Kavanaugh was considered guilty by every Democrat Senator except Senator Mansion from West Virginia. Yet there was absolutely no corroborating evidence. (This probably wouldn’t bother Bouchard, because Bouchard needs no witnesses corroborating Kevin Shannon’s story — handing Shannon a windfall and ruling against TransPerfect in the most draconian way: Corporate Dissolution!)
Thank God our country has as part of our obligatory system, “a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.” As a result, Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court Justice and Andre Bouchard will probably remain a Chancellor. But as least Kavanaugh can say he lived through the scrutiny of a tough confirmation, and succeeded. Bouchard cannot. And Delaware will be paying the price for years to come.