SJC: No Remedy But Voting 'Em Out

You may recall that in late 2006, it looked like the legislature might try killing the same-sex-marriage-ban initiative by not voting on it. The initiative's backers went to the Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled that, although the state constitution requires the legislature to take an up-or-down vote on all pending initiative amendments, the court has no judicial remedy if the leg ignores this duty.

When it all played out, the legislature voted on the marriage initiative -- but tabled a universal-healthcare initiative. That initiative's supporters brought their own case, and today the SJC came to the same conclusion: the legislature disobeyed its constitutional duty, but there's nothing we can do about it.

The court did offer, however, that:
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."
Somehow, I doubt the voters are likely to take that step -- but there's a valid point here. Elected officials shouldn't be allowed to disobey the SJC's clear interpretation of the state constitution. And they did.

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