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A Question to Which I Do Not Have An Answer

As almost everyone already knows, and I've not commented on yet, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has legalized gay marriage. I've said it before: I'm not particularly against gay marriage per se, but I object to this kind of 'interpretation' of new rights by judges. My support for the Federal Marriage Amendment is more of a game-theory lesson (if a judge gets smacked down by an amendment which will take innumerable years to reverse, he's less likely to behave as an imperial judiciary next time) than any particular feeling about marriage. I'm not likely to get married any time soon--so it's not really my game.

Anyway, one thing I'm wondering about is the authority of the Supreme Judicial Court: does the SJC's power of judicial review arise explicitly from the Massachusetts constitution, or is it the result of interpretation (like Marbury v. Madison)? And if the latter, what is the result if the Governor pulls a modern-day Andrew Jackson and merely refuses to enforce it? (Note, this is more game-theory speculation--it's obviously not going to happen.)

A better question: why am I wondering about this when I'm behind in my reading? Ah well. At least looking through the Massachusetts constitution got me some Westlaw points.


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Hey tony, your comment in Reg. State was classic....even though I don't remember what you said--that's the beauty of it though :) C
The power of judicial review is not explicitly granted to the SJC in the MA Constitution, it arises as a result of interpretation, like M v M (as far as I can tell, I don't see that right explicitly granted anywhere in the Constitution). However, the spineless Romney is definitley not likely to pull a Jackson here. More likely scenario is that the legislature will ask the judiciary for a stay in order to put forward an ammendment to the MA Constitution and wait for the voter referendum on the ammendment. A bigger question I have about the gay marriage issue I posted on my blog here. Any thoughts on this specific issue? My support for allowing gay marriage would decline dramatically if it were indeed the case that Catholic Schools would be affected in the way described in that entry...
The Massachusetts Constitution provides explicitly for judicial review. Judicial review is the power of a court to judge the constitutionality of the laws of a government or the acts of a government official. Article II of the MA Const, Part Two provides," Each branch of the legislature, as well as the governor and council, shall have authority to require the opinions of the justices of the supreme judicial court, upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions" The Massachusetts Senate recognized this power recently when it requested an SJC opinion on one of its proposed compromises to the gay marriage case.

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