- The Supreme Judicial Court today rejected the efforts of those who wanted to force the health care amendment onto the ballot despite the legislature’s refusal to vote on it (thereby killing it). The Court acknowledged that the legislature had a constitutional duty to vote on the amendment — a duty which they failed to observe — but that the courts lack the power to force the question onto the ballot:
The only remedy provided in the Constitution for the failure of a joint session to act on an initiative amendment lies in the hands of the Governor. Of course, a further remedy lies with the voters at the next election when they decide who will represent them “agreeably, to the rules and regulations of the constitution, and the laws of this Commonwealth.” The relief sought by the plaintiffs, however, would address the violation of a constitutional duty (the duty to vote) by one branch of government, by means of an order of the court that both supplants the remedy specifically provided for in the Constitution and directs that another constitutional requirement be disregarded. This cannot be done consistently with the doctrine of separation of powers embodied in art. 30 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.
- Among the ongoing significant changes at the Globe, one that was announced today stands out: business columnist Steve Bailey is leaving by April 1. I haven’t always loved Bailey’s work, but there’s no doubt that he’s a major presence on the Boston business scene, and he’ll be missed.
- I still can’t get over this Spitzer business. Really, what an idiot.
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