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A public interest group, Delaware Coalition for Open Government, Inc. (DCOG), filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware challenging the constitutionality of a Delaware statute and its implementing rules that permitted private parties to, in effect, hire a member of the Court of Chancery to arbitrate a dispute. On Aug. 30, 2011, Judge Mary McLaughlin resolved the case by issuing an opinion, in Delaware Coalition for Open Government v. Strine, granting DCOG’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Judge McLaughlin held that the statute and rules violated the First Amendment: “The Court concludes that the Delaware proceeding functions essentially as a non-jury trial before a Chancery Court judge. Because it is a civil trial, there is a qualified right of access and this proceeding must be open to the public.”

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