Monday, April 18, 2005

The Curious Emile Goguen: Part 3

Last June, Rep. Emile Goguen did his Martin Luther variation. He released a five-count “indictment” of four of the seven justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The full text is on-line here.

It is rambling and of highly questionable legal reasoning, but he put a lot into it. The indictment, as he called it, was as detailed as it was inflammatory. It accused Chief Justice Margaret Marshall and the others with willful misconduct and actual crimes. The other three are complacent and complicit, he claimed. Marshall he accuses of aiding, abetting and colluding with same-sex marriage advocates before and during the case.

The counts are:
  1. Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall Did Encourage, Aid and Abet Atty. Mary Bonauto and GLAD in Bringing the Lawsuit, "Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health" In Violation of the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct
  2. Justice Marshall Permitted the Chief Justice of the Superior Court, Suzanne V. DelVecchio, to Encourage GLAD and Attorney Mary Bonauto to File the "Goodridge" case in the Massachusetts Courts, In Violation of Section E(1) of the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct
  3. Justice Marshall Spoke to the Press Immediately After the Release of Her Opinion in Order to Portray Herself as a Champion of Civil Rights, in Violation of Section B(9) of Canon 3 of the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct
  4. Judge Marshall's Three Companions Have Joined Her in Violating Article XXX of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights
  5. No Open and Fair Public Discussion Was Ever Allowed In Violation of the Preamble to the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct
Note: Article XXX is a spongy phrase about courts not exercising legislative or executive branch powers.

He subsequently filed a bill of address, House 652, to kick the judges off the court. Despite his personal pleas and a letter to each other state rep, he only managed to get four co-sponsors to sign on. They are Philip Travis, 4th Bristol; Edward G. Connolly, 28th Middlesex; David M. Nagle, 17th Middlesex; and Marie J. Parente; 10th Worcester.

In response, speaking to the Boston Globe Arline Isaacson, cochairwoman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, dismissed the bill as "absolute insanity." "I can understand if our opponents don't like the decision, but our opponents have no rational basis for removing any of these judges. They were clearly doing their job and, quite frankly, doing it well. Their job, after all, is to determine what's constitutional or not. Our opponents are acting like sore losers."

Part one of this series is here. Part four is here.

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