Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Flynn's Case Dismissed 

Former Boston mayor Ray Flynn's case scheduled in Suffolk Superior Court, in which he hoped to block Goodridge by succeding on the subject matter jurisdiction argument that has failed repeatedly, was dismissed yesterday without a hearing. Judge Paul E. Troy cancelled the hearing since the argument was so similar to the one rejected by the SJC last week.

I found Flynn's remarks after the dismissal a bit confusing (although I admit I often find Ray Flynn's remarks puzzling):

"Our attempt was to get people to vote on this issue, an up or down vote one way or the other," Flynn said. "People can understand when the vote goes against them -- when they're ignored, that's when frustration sets in."

I think he's trying to latch on to the argument presented by the Catholic Action League's C.J. Doyle in his petition to vacate or stay Goodridge. This petition was denied, and the arguments rejected. The theory presented was that by allowing gay marriages to proceed prior to a public vote on a proposed constitutional amendment would damage opponents' abilities to lobby for the amendment to such an extent that they would be denied opportunity to express their views, and would nullify their votes. The court responded that whether such a vote will ever occur is speculative and that such a stay of an indeterminate but lengthy at minimum would be to deny the plaintiffs the very real benefit achieved by Goodridge. The court also responded that C.J. and his friends are still free to lobby and voice their opinions as much as they want in their efforts to sway voters to their side of the issue.

But Flynn seems to be forecasting not only that the commencement of marriages means that the speculative amendment vote will fail, but that the people who vote for it will feel ignored and frustrated (is he predicting a lashing out by the frustrated at that point?). If he's predicting failure of the amendment because of ongoing marriages, is he saying that people won't vote for it because they've been able to see that nothing bad happened because of the marriages? And exactly who is it that will feel ignored and frustrated? The people who vote for the amendment? If the amendment fails, it's because they were outvoted. But I thought Flynn just wanted "an up or down vote one way or another." Sounds like he's a bit disingenuous in that statement at least.

In other news, the conservative groups bringing their action to the US District Court today are calling this their "last stand." Do you promise? This is the last one? Wouldn't that be nice.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:39 AM