Barbara Lenk nominated to Massachusetts Supreme Court
Massachusetts: Gov. Deval Patrick announced, on April 4, 2011, his nomination of Justice Barbara Lenk to the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The current Appeals Court justice was chosen to replace retired Justice Judith Cowin.
The nomination, however, has sparked controversy because, if approved, Justice Lenk would be the first openly gay member of the state's highest court. She was married to her partner following the Massachusetts Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Critics say that the governor is simply trying to appease political supporters who support same-sex marriage. One of the eight councilors who will vote one whether or not to approve the nomination is Charles Cipollini. Regarding the governor's choice, he stated, "He just picks different groups and this happens to be their turn...He's trying to satisfy everyone. He's satisfying the people who voted for him, let's put it that way." However, the Governor made a point to stress Justice Lenk's qualifications for office. "She is a brilliant and thoughtful jurist, with a deep sense of justice," he stated. He downplayed her sexual orientation as "a nice coincidence". Councilor Jennie Caissie explained, "If she's a good judge, she's a good judge, period. Take the sex out of it." Justice Lenk will appear before the Governor's Council for a hearing on April 27th.
Justice Lenk's legal career stretches back to 1979, when she joined the law firm of Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer. She worked there as a civil litigator until 1993, including six years as a partner and member of the Executive Committee. She then began her judicial career as a Superior Court judge. In 1995, she joined the Appeals Court, where she currently serves. She received her law degree from Harvard University and holds a doctorate in political philosophy from Yale University.
- ↑ Boston.com, "Councilors question Mass. Gov. Patrick on SJC pick", April 6, 2011
- ↑ Mass Live.com, "Governor's Councilor Charles Cipollini skeptical about SJC nominee Judge Barbara Lenk, chosen by Gov. Patrick", April 6, 2011
- ↑ GovMonitor, "Justice Barbara A. Lenk Nominated To Massachusetts Supreme Court", April 4, 2011
- ↑ Boston.com, "Another unprecedented SJC pick", April 5, 2011
|This article was written by Matt Latourelle, the Project Director for the State Courts Project on Judgepedia. He can be reached at email@example.com.|