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Delaware Supreme Court Justice Holland to Retire

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Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland

DOVER, Del.- Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland - the longest serving justice in the state's history - has announced that he will retire at the end of March.

 “I just feel that after 30 years it is time to retire,” Holland said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to pursuing other opportunities, like teaching.”

After receiving formal notice Thursday of Holland's retirement, Gov. John Carney issued the following statement: 

"Justice Holland has been a model jurist and a steady source of wisdom on Delaware's Supreme Court for more than 30 years. His thoughtfulness and deep knowledge of Delaware history and the Delaware Constitution will be missed," Carney said. "We should all thank Justice Holland for his service to the people of Delaware and to our great judiciary."

Holland, 70, is the youngest person to serve on the Delaware Supreme Court, having been recommended to former Gov. Michael Castle by a bipartisan merit selection committee. Prior to his appointment and confirmation in 1986, Holland was in private practice as a partner at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell.

In 2009, Holland became the longest serving justice in the history of Delaware. In March 2011, he was reappointed by former Gov. Jack Markell and unanimously confirmed by the Senate for an unprecedented third 12-year term.

Holland graduated from Swarthmore College. He also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude, where he received the Loughlin Award for legal ethics. Holland received a master of laws in the judicial process from the University of Virginia Law School. He was awarded honorary Doctor of Law degrees by the Delaware Law School and Swarthmore College.

Throughout his 30-year tenure on the bench, Holland has written more than 700 reported opinions and several thousand case dispositive orders. Holland is recognized as an expert on state constitutional law and authored two books on the state constitution. He also taught state constitutional law as an adjunct professor for many years.

With Holland’s encouragement, the Conference of Chief Justices passed a unanimous resolution recommending that all law schools offer courses on state constitutions.

During his tenure on the Delaware Supreme Court, Holland received numerous awards, including the 2014 American Inns of Court Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics, 2012 First State Distinguished Service Award, the 2011 Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence, the 2009 James Wilson Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, the 2007 American Inns of Court Christensen Award, the 2003 American Judicature Society’s Herbert Harley Award, and the 1992 Judge of the Year Award from the National Child Support Enforcement Association. In 2004, he was elected to be an Honorable Master of the Bench by Lincoln’s Inn in London. Chief Justices Rehnquist and Roberts appointed Justice Holland as the state judge member of the Federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.

Holland has written, co-authored, or edited nine books and has also published several law review articles, primarily dealing with judicial ethics and legal history.

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