Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Bill of Address 

A single state Representative, Democrat Emile J. Goguen (D) of Fitchburg is sponsoring and filing a "bill of address" tomorrow. The bill is the first step in a process designed to remove from the SJC the four justices who issued the Goodridge opinion. While the lawmaker acknowledges that the bill has little chance of passing (it would have to be passed by both the house and senate, and the acted upon by the Governor and Governor's Council), he stated that he hopes the action will pressure the justices into reconsidering or nullifying the ruling.

The most recent removal of an SJC justice was in 1803. An attempt in 1922 failed. The most recent removal of a judge by a bill of address was in 1973 (a municipal court judge), but this was after the judge had already been disbarred and removed by the SJC.

The idea of the bill of address was brought to Rep. Goguen by members of Article 8 Alliance, a group formed in response to the Goodridge decision. You might want to poke around their website a bit to get an idea of the ideas behind the bill. This website is full of inflammatory rhetoric and unsubstantiated conclusions. I do find rather ironic that one of the statements featured in the center page, bright yellow highlighted appeal for the people to act now and prevent "judicial catastrophe" from being enacted is as follows:

"We live here, raise our families here, and pay taxes here. We pay the salaries of our legislators so they can protect us. We demand that they do their job."

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:29 AM