Thursday, December 28, 2006

SJC Can Rule Other Branches -- When It Wants To

Lee Swislow (r), Exec. Director of GLAD, is unhappy with the SJC ruling.
She doesn't want her feelings hurt. Who cares about the Constitution?

The Mass. Supreme Judicial Court said yesterday that it cannot do anything to force the Legislature to vote on the marriage amendment, but it stated that the Legislators' vote is clearly required by Article 48 (referendum amendment procedure) of the Mass. Constitution.
In their ruling, the SJC documents that it was unimaginable to the legislators who passed Article 48 in 1918 that elected representatives would ever act to violate their oaths in such a way, by refusing to vote. And the SJC makes the argument that what was in the minds of those who drafted and approved that Article is what defines it for us today. So why doesn't the Court follow the clear historical understanding of the word "marriage" which John Adams, who wrote the Massachusetts Constitution, included in the original document?

The Boston Globe also reported on GLAD executive director Lee Swislow's response to the SJC ruling that the legislators are clearly required to vote. Robbed of any legal or rational arguments for the legislators not voting, she was reduced to arguing from her personal, emotional needs:

Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, said she hoped the legislators would continue to balk, even if it seemed like a cynical maneuver. "This is my right to marry the person I love, and putting that [measure] on the ballot feels like the most cynical thing that could happen, on a very personal level," said Swislow, who married her partner of 10 years in June 2004.