Bench Memos

Margaret Marshall’s Follies

In the National Law Journal (Oct. 13 issue), Massachusetts chief justice Margaret H. Marshall has an essay (not available online) titled “What would Adams say?”  Marshall, author of the outrageous opinion inventing a right to same-sex marriage under the Massachusetts constitution (see This Week for Nov. 18, 2003), has the gall to assert that “John Adams would be startled to see how modern political rhetoric is used to undermine the strength of the courts that are a linchpin of the constitutional democracy he dedicated his life to creating and furthering.”  No, Adams would be startled that a prominent judge would have so little understanding of the proper bounds of the judicial role in a constitutional republic.  It is the usurpation of the legitimate realm of the democratic processes by Marshall and her fellow liberal judicial activists—and not vigorous criticism of that usurpation—that threatens our system. 

As Adams might put it, “I knew Chief Justice Marshall.  Chief Justice Marshall was a friend of mine.  And you, madam, are no Chief Justice Marshall.” 

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