Pro-family activism that makes a difference!

Lenk's public hearing: Pro-family witnesses insulted & harassed by elected officials

Unbelievable. See VIDEOS below!

POSTED: May 2, 2011

On Wednesday, April 27, the 8-member elected Governor's Council (chaired by Lt. Gov. Tim Murray) held its public hearing for Barbara Lenk an openly lesbian appellate judge, who has been nominated to the Supreme Judicial Court. If you couldn't make it, consider yourself lucky. Over the years we've been to some hostile public hearings. But nothing quite like this.

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL AT HEARING. From left: Charles Cipollini, Kelly Timilty, Marilyn Devaney, Christopher Iannella, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, Mary Ellen Manning, Terrence Kennedy, Jennie Caissie, Thomas Merrigan

It seemed like something out of the old Soviet Union. Certain views and subject matter were deemed unacceptable for discussion. Specifically, expression of traditional religious values or discussion of homosexual behavior and effects were simply not allowed. The hostility of certain members of the Governor's council toward these values and the people holding them was never far from the surface.

PACKED LIKE SARDINES: The hearing was in a small room with poor ventilation -- not uncommon, unfortunately. Many had to stand, or sit on the floor.

Barbara Lenk sits in audience watching the testimony during confirmation hearing.

There were really two hearings that day, with two different sets of rules.

(1) Those testifying in favor of Lenk treated well

During the first part of the hearing the people there to support Judge Lenk testified. These included "important people" such as Chief Justice Roderick Ireland of the SJC, Judge Philip Rapoza, chief justice of the Mass. Appeals Court, a college president, an assistant US Attorney, well-known lawyers, and others who were Lenk's colleagues and friends.

Jotting down notes during testimony. SJC Chief Justice Roderick Ireland testified for well over an hour. Very few of the questions the Councilors asked him had anything to do with Lenk.

Great rules: The "pro-Lenk" people were given as much time as they wanted to speak. They could bring up any subject, even if it was personal or didn't relate to Lenk's qualifications or judicial philosophy. Much of the time was spent with the Council asking them questions about unrelated topics, such as the current state of the probation department or general court issues. But they were treated cordially and respectfully.

(2) Those opposed to Lenk treated badly --  SEE VIDEOS!

After all the "pro" people were finished, the "anti-Lenk" people were allowed to testify, about 8 in all who were still there (around mid-afternoon).

The rules were drastically changed: (1) A 5-minute limit on testimony was imposed, and a timer was set up. (2) Only topics that were pertinent to Lenk's qualifications or judicial philosophy were allowed, and that was enforced by Lt. Gov. Murray, who was chairing the meeting. (3) Discussion of moral and religious values and homosexuality was considered off limits. And (4) the Councillors felt free to confront, insult, and question the motives of the pro-family witnesses.

While Brian Camenker of MassResistance (left) attempted to bring up the "Falsettos" play (see our report HERE) and Lenk's connection to it, Lt. Governor Murray kept interrupting him, warning him that "It had better be pertinent".

But worse, members of the Council felt free to demean, insult, patronize,   intimidate, and question the motives of anti-Lenk testifiers. We've never seen anything like it. It shocked even us -- although the liberals who made up most of those in the room seemed fine with it. (Several of the Councilors also made it a point to state that they supported the concept of homosexual judges, whether the we liked it or not.)

These two videos show the outrageous behavior of public officials to members of the public who came to testify but happen to have pro-family positions.

VIDEO #1: Sally Naumann of Mass-Resistance is insulted and patronized by panel as she testifies

VIDEO #2: C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League fought back brilliantly!

After the testimony: Lenk dodges questions from the Council

After the testimony there was a short break and Lenk came forward and took questions from the Council. (Thanks to ComFlm Press for providing that video.) There were some tough questions, but they were politely put. And Lenk was never asked about the "Falsettos" issue - none of the Councilors had the nerve to do it.

In general, we found Lenk's attitude to be elitist and quite condescending.

  • When she was asked about judicial activism, rather than seriously discuss it she just snapped back, "I don't know what that is."
  • She also refused to discuss her published comment that the law is "evolving."
  • She explained her continuation of the stay of the injunction on the City of Boston domestic partners case by saying she had sent it to the full 3-judge appellate panel before the SJC reached down and took it. But why? That case had no merits and was not a close call, as the SJC in their unanimous decision reiterated the Superior Court finding.
  • Her explanation on the incest ruling was convoluted and hard to follow. Eventually the Councilors gave up and went on to a different subject.
  • Lenk was asked the general question, "Does the 2nd Amendment apply to the residents of Massachusetts through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment?" It was merely a question about broad constitutional philosophy. But she refused to answer it, using as her excuse a pending SJC gun case.

If Lenk is this cagey and disconnected from the people at her hearing then what will it be like when she's a Justice?

This should all scare you

All of this, including the hostility by members of the Council against people with normal, traditional values, should frighten and anger you. It was unprecedented. This could be the beginning of an eventual ban on moral and religious expression.  More and more politicians (and judges) see serious Christians and Jews as less than human because of their "backwards" and "intolerant" beliefs. We only need to look to Europe to see where that leads.