A federal judge has declared the Delaware Court of Chancery’s arbitration program unconstitutional, effectively killing the program and, along with it, the court’s ability to settle corporate disputes through private arbitration sessions that were closed to the public.

U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued the 26-page opinion in Delaware Coalition for Open Government v. Strine. The case was heard in Philadelphia because the Delaware federal judges had recused themselves from the case.

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