Posted inOpinion

SJC got Baker emergency orders case right

THERE ARE AT least two important takeaways from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Desrosiers v. Governor, in which the court upheld Gov. Charlie Baker’s authority to issue emergency orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the court’s conclusion was undoubtedly correct. The plaintiffs argued that the governor had “usurped” the role of […]

Posted inOpinion

Challenge to Baker emergency powers likely to fail

A GROUP OF MASSACHUSETTS entrepreneurs, pastors, and an educator has mounted a court challenge to Gov. Charlie Baker’s authority to issue emergency orders to address the novel coronavirus in the Commonwealth. According to Michael Degrandis, counsel for the plaintiffs, the governor has unconstitutionally “usurped the role of the Legislature by exercising the police power”—that is, […]

Posted inCriminal Justice, Opinion

In indigent defense case, precedent for strong SJC action

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, in Lavallee v. Justices in the Hampden Superior Court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court addressed the shortage of attorneys available to represent indigent criminal defendants in Hampden County, which resulted in persistent denial of the right to counsel under the state and federal constitutions. The cause of the shortage was no mystery: […]

Posted inOpinion

Little buzz on ballot question with wide impact

MASSACHUSETTS VOTERS FACE three ballot questions this November. Though Question 2 has received the least attention, it has the potential to affect every citizen of the Commonwealth—and, perhaps, the nation. Question 2 proposes a volunteer commission be convened to consider amending the U.S. Constitution to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United […]