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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Courts Have Been Active

For John, BLUFWell, except for putting law breakers away.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Monday's edition of The Boston Globe by Reporter Milton J. Valencia (24 July 2017).

The 42 word single sentence lede:

The state’s highest court ruled Monday that under Massachusetts law, local law enforcement officials cannot hold a person who is wanted solely for immigration violations, a ruling that provides a legal basis for sanctuary cities to refuse to cooperate with federal officials.

This too is from Yesterday's edition of The Boston Globe, by Reporter Catie Edmondson.

The 27 word single sentence lede, plus two:

A Suffolk Superior Court judge on Monday ruled unconstitutional a state law that forbids people from voting in an election unless they have registered 20 days beforehand.

The law denies qualified citizens their right to vote, Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled.

In a lawsuit filed last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the Chelsea Collaborative, a social services nonprofit, and MassVOTE, a nonprofit that registers people to vote, argued that the law is “unnecessary and arbitrary” and that it excluded thousands of citizens from voting.

Just to make sure I have the proper orientation here, it appears the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is speaking for States' Rights, right?  That is to say, there are limits to what the Federal Government can do in Massachusetts and limits to what support it should expect.  While I am a limited Government Republican, I am hoping we are not going to re-litigate a lot of the old "states' rights" issues.  As for illegal immigrants, as long as we are enforcing rules about having a real Social Security Number to get a job and not letting illegal immigrants register to vote and go on welfare, I guess I am OK with it.  As for Drivers Licenses, I am still up in the air.

With regard to voting, I have some small sympathy with the Massachusetts Secretary of State.  They can't even guarantee that they get "Mail In" registration right. Why would we think that this kind of last minute rush would not complicate the printing of voter rolls?  Do they need ten days to print and distribute them?  Five days?  Two days but we have to keep open the Voting Office on Saturday and pay overtime for the Administrative actions on Sunday (plus regular time for Monday)?  And taking it to the extreme, what about, since the count isn't official for a couple of days, those who become eligible on Wednesday or Thursday.  Should they not, out of compassion, be allowed to vote?

The twenty days is an arbitrary rule.  Judges should be familiar with that sort of thing.  And, besides, the focus of judges should be on the fact that the new Court House in Lowell has no rooms for Public Defenders to meet with their clients.  What's up with that?  Isn't there some aphorism about "Physician heal thyself?

Hat tip to the MASSter List.

Regards  —  Cliff

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