A single Supreme Judicial Court justice chickened out on the suit to force the current anti-same-sex-marriage amendment onto the 2008 ballot if the Constitutional Convention does not vote it up or down on January 2nd, 2007. Justice Judith A. Cowin called for the whole SJC to hear the case on December 20th instead.
The Boston Herald runs the wire story and the Boston Globe has an even shorter version. You can see the plaintiffs and defendants here.
After a half hour of argument this morning, Cowin waited a couple of hours before disappearing behind the shield of the whole court. She voted in the majority in the Goodridge case. It's unclear whether this factored in her unwillingness to rule.
Even though the SJC ruled over a decade ago that it could not compel the legislature to vote on an amendment, that didn't stop the plaintiff's attorney, John Hanify. He argued to Cowin that the SJC had to stop a pattern of parliamentary maneuvering in lieu of passing through amendments. "They’ve done it repeatedly. They’ve done it incessantly. It will persist if the court doesn’t intervene."
That a hard argument to win. Typically, courts rely on precedence.
On the other hand, this gives plaintiff Mitt Romney, nominally acting as private citizen, not governor nor Presidential aspirant, a chance to show off again. Even though, God bless him, he clearly enabled SSM here, he's happy to pretend otherwise.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, amendment, same sex marriage, ConCon, Supreme Judicial Court, Judith Cowin