December 06, 2005

Another Day, Another Brandeis-Connected Political Brouhaha

You'd think that Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall would be enough of a reviled figure on the right, seeing as how she authored the decision in 2004 that recognized the right of gays to marry in that state. But now she's in trouble for comments she made at Brandeis last spring, in her commencement address to the Class of 2005.

During the speech, Marshall looked up, noticed that all of the graduation balloons were blue and white (in accordance with Brandeis colors) and not red, and then ad-libbed, "no red states here." No indication that anyone even noticed at the time, except (according to Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory):

Someone, of course, filed a confidential complaint to the Commission on Judicial Conduct, because that's what people do these days -- they complain. They find insult where none was intended. They see agendas where people are only trying to live normal lives...
the commission took the complaint seriously, probed it, and required an extraordinary public apology from the most powerful jurist in the state.
Funny that the people who bitch all the time about "frivilous lawsuits" feel the need to adjudicate such meaningless crap as this. At any rate, Marshall apologized- this week, i.e., seven months after the fact, bringing this sorry affair to a close.

People ask why I don't blog very much about politics anymore. This is why- American political discourse has been reduced to nothing but an endless series of liberals making stupid but innocuous comments, and conservatives getting outraged outraged OUTRAGED!!!!!!!! about them. And vice versa. And after four of five rounds of this, they accuse each other of being "partisan," and "politicizing the issue." And that's when I change the channel away from MSNBC and/or Fox News.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 6, 2005 04:18 PM

Filing a complaint was excessive, but this still IS pretty inappropriate judicial comment. Regardless of how one actually stands on gay marriage, Margaret Marshall is both a terrible jurist and a certifiable leftwing nutjob (and no, of course those two things are not redundant).

Posted by: Dave J at December 7, 2005 11:36 PM
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