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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
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By Rob Meltzer
Dec. 16, 2013 12:14 p.m.



I was stunned by the op ed column that Rick ran from Robert Jubinville explaining his opposition to Joe Berman’s nomination to the Superior Court. Frankly, I just don’t find a word of what he says to be credible. He seems to be arguing that Joe just isn’t ready for prime time, which is to say that Joe has exactly the same experience as most people when nominated to the bench, and then some. Many of the appointments to the bench in the past two years have been somewhat dubious, and create the impression of cronyism at the waning days of the Patrick/Murray administration. (which isn’t to say is a bad thing–I grew up in Worcester and some of Tim’s “cronies” are my friends too).

But Joseph Berman, who I’ve known for more than 15 years, is probably the smartest, most able, most compassionate, most qualified person to be appointed to the Superior Court in the last ten years, and there is no reason on this earth for anyone to oppose his nomination. From the position of the trial bar, his nomination has reflected a breath of fresh air, bringing in a combination of big litigation experience and a firm commitment to the community. Its no understatement to say that I know many, many lawyers in Boston who not only want Joe on the bench, but we’d like to clone him and pack the court with him. Jubinvilles excuses–political contributions to the Democratic Party etc, should hardly be a surprise. It would be shocking if someone with Joe’s compassion for liberal ideals did not give to liberal politicians. But there is no reason to believe that those contributions would ever influence his decisions, or that he used those contributions to influence untoward political process. So we’re left with the fact that Joe doesn’t have a lot of background in criminal law and “addiction” so he “is not qualified to sit on the Superior Court?” I can name a half dozen judges who came from the Attorney General’s office or the DA’s office who knew nothing about civil law, and we wonder what they’ve been smoking.

There is a gross sense of anti-semitism running through Jubinville’s little column. Which is weird, because Joe is well-known for his support for minority communities, including the Armenian community which Jubinville seems to feel Joe has slighted. For what its worth, Joe, as part of the ADL, fought for the recognition of the Armenian genocide against national ADL policy, while most of us just chickened out and quit the organization.

I can’t think of anyone more qualified than Joe to sit on the bench in this state. I can’t think of anyone less qualified to pass judgment on him than Robert Jubinville. Jubinville, is hurting the state, the people of this state, the integrity of the nomination system and the perception that the governor’s council is anything more than a puddle of petty shmucks. I simply can’t believe Rick ran his polemic as anything other than a humor column.

 

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