Chief Justice Leo Strine confirms fall retirement

Chief Justice Leo Strine swearing in John Carney
Chief Justice Leo Strine swearing in John Carney

Chief Justice for the Supreme Court of Delaware Leo E. Strine Jr. has confirmed rumors that he plans to retire this fall in a public letter to Gov. John Carney. The justice is only halfway through his allotted 12-year term.

Strine was appointed to his current position in 2014 by Gov. Jack Markell. He succeeded Chief Justice Myron T. Steele as the eighth chief justice since the modern court was created in 1951. He served as Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery from 2011-2014 and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2011.

In the letter, Strine wrote that he will resign upon the nomination, confirmation and swearing in of his successor. The fall date assumes a smooth confirmation process over the next several months.

“This decision is bittersweet, as I’m sure you understand, but the main emotion I feel is gratitude,” he wrote.

In response, Carney expressed gratitude for the longtime public servant’s commitment to Delaware.

“I’ve known Chief Justice Strine since we worked together in the office of then-Governor Tom Carper, and I’ve known him to be one of Delaware’s top legal minds, and a real public servant on behalf of the people of our state,” Carney said.

Delaware Business Times in May reported on the possibility of Strine retiring this year. Founding Publisher Sam Waltz called the looming resignation perhaps the state’s “worst-kept secret.”

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