Massachusetts Courts a
Disaster - Judge Marshall's Own Panel Said Her Courts Are a Disaster, but She
Has Kept the Report Quiet
We Are Telling the Story in Full, Including the Text of the 87-Page
Chief Justice Margaret Marshall was not happy three years ago
when a blue-ribbon panel she herself had appointed wrote in its Report that our
courts are "mired in confusion", "dysfunctional", and in need of "sweeping
It said that "employees cry out for leadership" and morale in courts
around the state is "near the breaking point". It also said that businesses
avoid moving to states with "slow unsteady courts". We were ranked by lawyers as
45th in the nation.
This put Judge Marshall in a terrible position because she was very
busy "deciding" the gay marriage case at that time. Of course, she had already
told her lesbian friend, Atty. Mary Bonauto, in public that she would win if she
brought the case in Massachusetts. Therefore, Judge Marshall had no choice
unless she decided it was too dangerous for her career to vote for gay marriage.
She was having a difficult time with the six Associate Justices on
her court. She had a pretty good idea that at least three of them would vote
against her, but the other three seemed to be solid. Judge Ireland's only goal
seemed to be to please her. Judge Greaney liked Mary Bonauto and was clearly on
her side. Although Judge Cowin was very political and had a Republican husband
sitting on the Appeals Court, she could be counted on to go with the winner. If
she could just get one of the three troublemakers, Spina (probably a stubborn
Catholic), Sosman, or Cordy on her side, she would be in good shape --- except
for that terrible mistake when she told Mary in public that she would vote for
She really should, at the least, recuse herself from participating in the
Nervous as a Cat at Oral Argument
On the day that the Report was released, March 4, 2003, Marshall
had to preside at Oral Argument of the gay marriage case. No wonder she was so
nervous. Mary was wonderful on that day, except she had made it obvious to
everyone that she was a close friend of Marshall. But no need to worry because
The New York Times Company, owner of the Boston Globe, would protect her. It was
really good that she had married the premiere columnist of the Times, Anthony
Lewis, many years ago when she was only 36. But he didn't have as much power
with the newest member of the Sulzberger family, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr.
(Pinch) who was made Chairman of The Company in 1977.
Although Mary was wonderful at Oral Argument, the Assistant Attorney
General Judith Yogman had been so smart and capable that Margaret had been
mortified. Did it really show that she had been admitted to Yale Law School only
because she was an attractive female with lots of liberal friends?
But the big question was what were those other three judges going to