Opera singer, blogger, lawyer. You can reach me by email at david [at] bluemassgroup [dot] com.

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  1. On the question of standing, (1 Reply)

    the issue isn’t addressed in the opinion (which you can read here, since the Globe story unhelpfully doesn’t link to it – wtf). I don’t see any indication that the defendants ever questioned the standing of the various plaintiffs (individual and institutional) to bring the suit.

  2. Again, (1 Reply)

    the final up-or-down vote on this issue has to be at the ballot, because the proposal is to change the state Constitution. It’s different from the initiative to cut the income tax rate to 5%, which was ordinary legislation.

  3. A popular vote is required in either case. (0 Replies)

    This is a constitutional amendment, not a law. So regardless of whether it’s proposed by initiative (1/4 legislative vote in 2 successive sessions required to get it to the ballot) or by a legislator (majority legislative vote in 2 successive sessions required), it goes to the ballot. Yes, a signature drive builds up a limited degree of popular support first – but the numbers are so trivial compared to what’s actually needed to pass the thing that I don’t see that as a major factor.

  4. "Boston Calling was legally entitled to permits to hold the show" (2 Replies)

    I would imagine – again, not having read the indictment or anything else beyond this post – that this is the crux of the matter. Was Boston Calling indeed legally entitled to the permit? Or was there some vague “public interest” or “best interests of the city” provision in the permitting regulations that left leeway to impose conditions that maybe aren’t spelled out in advance, but that give city officials some degree of discretion? And if so, when does that leeway get pushed so far that it gets into criminal territory?

  5. Ironic that support is so strong. (1 Reply)

    If that’s really how the legislature feels, they could have saved the signature gatherers an awful lot of trouble by proposing a legislative amendment (introduced by a legislator; requires a majority vote to advance) instead of an initiative one (introduced by initiative petition; requires only a 1/4 vote to advance).

  6. To clarify, (1 Reply)

    he hasn’t exactly come out and said he won’t veto. But he has come pretty close.

  7. The useless Globe endorsement (0 Replies)

    As you’ll recall, the Globe endorsed Lydia Edwards. She finished fourth, well behind Boncore and Rizzo. You’d think that in a low turnout special election, something like a newspaper endorsement might make a difference. And you’d be wrong. We’ve known that for a while now, of course; yesterday was another demonstration.

  8. True. However, (0 Replies)

    in a funny way, this order is not that different from what a trial court judge might have said to the parties in a pretrial conference, in an effort to settle the case. It’s just that (a) it was done in public, on the Court’s docket sheet, and (b) the Supreme Court almost never does this.

  9. No. (0 Replies)

    The SJC has to decide the case, and currently the conviction is in limbo. The SJC could decide to entertain new briefing and argument, or just reconsider it on the existing record, but I can’t imagine that they won’t issue a new opinion either upholding or throwing out Caetano’s conviction.

  10. Serious question (2 Replies)

    about Bernie’s voice in the Senate. Maybe it would be different now that he’s run a national campaign. But I think we can agree that, in a few short years, Elizabeth Warren has become a considerably more effective and high-profile spokesperson for the issues they share than Bernie ever was during his time there. So, I’m less persuaded by the “no VP” argument in the case of Sanders than I am in the case of Warren.

  11. The order is pretty clear, IMHO. (0 Replies)

    I know I’m used to reading these kinds of things, but still.

  12. Well, (0 Replies)

    that’s essentially what the SJC held. The Supreme Court ruled that the SJC went about answering that question in the wrong way.

  13. McDonald (0 Replies)

    says that the 2nd Amendment applies with equal force to the states as to the federal government. Since Heller was about the DC government, the states weren’t involved, so the question remained open.

  14. Heh. Well, if so, (1 Reply)

    the message was received and rejected.

  15. No, they can't. (0 Replies)

    This has come up before – Justice Douglas suffered a stroke while serving on the Court, and it was a big problem. There is no mechanism other than impeachment to force a Justice’s retirement. Douglas eventually resigned, but it wasn’t pretty.

  16. You can call it whatever you like, (2 Replies)

    but the simple fact is that, other things being equal, a younger appointee is likely to serve on the Court for longer than an older one. Justices have life tenure, which means that they are among the most enduring parts of a president’s legacy. It’s natural – and, IMHO, sensible – for a president to want their appointees to serve for a very long time.

  17. "negotiation mode" (1 Reply)

    No, I don’t think what you suggest will happen. Garland is, in effect, a compromise candidate: he’s much older and more centrist than Obama would be likely to nominate under other circumstances.

    What I do think is possible is that, if the election on November 8 shows a Democratic president and Senate coming into power, Obama might withdraw Garland’s nomination on November 9 before the lame-duck session has a chance to act.

  18. Yes, I agree (0 Replies)

    that his rhetoric has changed in the respect you identify from when I originally wrote this post. It’s a remarkable phenomenon, as fascinating as it is scary.

  19. "Misspoke" is pretty standard pol-speak (1 Reply)

    for “I was wrong.” I wouldn’t get too upset about the wording. The main thing is that she acknowledged that she screwed up. She should never have said what she said, but at least she has recognized her error.