As a follow-up to my earlier post about Chuck Turner’s conviction, I thought folks might be interested to know that Turner has sued the City of Boston and the City Councilors for violations of his rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and more interestingly, that several voters in his district have sued, claiming that the Council unconstitutionally disenfranchised them by expelling Turner and calling for a special election. The case is Turner v. City of Boston, No. 10-12276, for those of you with PACER access (if you don’t have access, you can get a hold of the complaint at the courthouse, of course).
I am not going to give my thoughts in detail about the supposed merits of these claims. I wanted instead to point out that Turner chose for his lawyer Chester Darling, who is best-known for successfully arguing that the First Amendment permitted the organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade to exclude gay and lesbian groups, and who has also prosecuted a claim of reverse racial discrimination against the Boston schools on behalf of several white students and who represented the president of the Catholic Action League in a rear-guard attempt to stop gay marriages from occurring while supporters of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage sought to get their measure through the legislature. Again, no comment on the merits of Darling’s suits. The point I want to make is that politics makes strange bedfellows!