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Barbara Lenk appointed to Mass. Supreme Court

Governor's nominates lesbian activist to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Could help change the legal landscape in radical ways

Appears to be part of national push for homosexual judges

POSTED: April 22, 2011  UPDATED: July 17, 2011

On April 4, 2011, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has nominated a well-known lesbian judge, Barbara Lenk, to the Supreme Judicial Court. Lenk was currently an appellate court judge. She was appointed to the Superior Court by Bill Weld in 1993 and elevated to the appellate court by Weld in 1995.

Boston Globe celebrated with front-page article.

As the Boston Globe gushed in its front-page article (above):

Governor Deval Patrick nominated Barbara A. Lenk to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court yesterday, choosing an openly gay appellate judge who wed her partner following the high court’s landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

If confirmed, Lenk would be the first openly gay member of the Massachusetts high court and just one of a handful of openly gay state supreme court justices in the country, according to gay rights advocates.

Both Patrick and Lenk acknowledged the groundbreaking nature of the appointment, but stressed her qualifications, including 17 years on the bench, a Harvard law degree, and a doctorate from Yale in political philosophy.

“It’s a nice coincidence and a happy one,’’ Patrick said of Lenk’s potential to make history. “I love the idea of firsts, as you know, and I’m proud of this one. But first and foremost, this is a very well prepared and highly qualified candidate.’’

The nomination was celebrated by the liberal establishment as well as the homosexual movement in Massachusetts. But Lenk's activities -- as a self-identified lesbian, "married" to another woman, with two children, who clearly supports the homosexual movement (as well as other baggage) -- have frightened and outraged conservatives.

Barbara Lenk is being touted by the Governor as a "first" -- a clear affirmative action choice and an apparent gift to the homosexual lobby which supported him over his two opponents. The homosexual lobby immediately began fighting hard for Lenk's confirmation.

Opportunity to change the legal landscape

It's not only Lenk's votes that affect things. Arline Isaacson of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus told the homosexual newspaper Bay Windows:

"In Massachusetts, we've been blessed to have on the SJC several justices who believe deeply in equality for the LGBT community.
But . . . Having an out lesbian on the SJC will serve the same important purpose that having out LGBT [people] in every profession does: it helps change for the better the attitudes, insights, and sensitivities of those who work with or interact with them."

There's no question that Lenk's elevation to SJC Justice could help change the legal landscape in Massachusetts in some radical ways.

Generally undistinguished record - and reaction from Governor's Council

A cursory look at Lenk's record on the Appellate Court shows her to be generally undistinguished, though very liberal. The Governor's Council must approve the nomination, and this caused some reaction from at least two of the Governor's Council members.

As the State House News reported:

For most councilors who will vote on Judge Barbara Lenk's nomination to the Supreme Judicial Court, Gov. Deval Patrick's fourth nominee to the highest court comes as a "blank slate."

But her potential to become the first openly gay member of the Supreme Judicial Court has rankled at least one member of the Governor's Council who accused Patrick on Wednesday of "catering to various constituent groups."

Councilor Charles Cipollini, a Fall River Republican and first-term councilor, questioned whether Lenk's sexual orientation would inhibit her ability to rule fairly on certain cases, speculating that issues surrounding gay marriage could come before the court again.

. . . "I'm a complete blank slate on this one. I have an open mind," said Councilor Mary-Ellen Manning. Manning said Lenk's sexual orientation should not be a factor in her confirmation, but criticized the Patrick administration for what she sees as its effort to promote the storyline.

Other recent judgeships filled by lesbian activists

Besides Lenk, Patrick has appointed two high-profile lesbians to lower judgeships since he became Governor:

  • Maureen Monks (2009) to Middlesex Probate and Family Court
  • Cheryl Jacques (2008) as an Industrial Accidents Board (IAB) judge
    (See MassResistance report.)

However, Lenk's nomination to the Supreme Judicial Court represents the most powerful judiciary in the Commonwealth and an opportunity to broadly change society.

National push for 'gay judges'

This also appears to be part of a recent national push to appoint openly homosexual judges. Their appears to be a rush to appoint as many homosexuals as federal and state judges as possible, as if both Obama and Gov. Patrick feel they have a window of time to do the most they can. As we have seen already, this is a powerful way of changing society by bypassing the Legislature and any vote of the people.

For example, a few of Obama's recent high-profile federal nominations:

  • Openly gay attorney Paul Oetken to a seat on the U.S. District Court for Southern New York.
  • Openly lesbian attorney Alison J. Nathan to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in Manhattan.
  • Openly gay attorney Ed DuMont to the Federal Circuit bench

All of these have been celebrated by the homosexual press. There are many more lower-profile nominations, also. And there will be more.

The effects are already being seen. On Wednesday, April 6, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who last August declared California's same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, acknowledged to reporters that he is homosexual -- which was generally assumed.

This is just the beginning of a likely judicial nightmare as time goes on.