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 Report

            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 changes".

            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 gay marriage.
     She really should, at the least, recuse herself from participating in the case.            

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 do?