Governor’s Council Approves Duffly For Mass. SJC

BOSTON (AP) – Appeals Court Associate Justice Fernande “Nan” Duffly endured a close vote Wednesday to take her place as the first Asian-American member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Newly elected Councilor Jennie Caissie, a Republican from Oxford, broke the suspense by declaring she would support the 61-year-old nominee. The nine-member panel ended up voting 4-3.

The outcome was far from certain.

During a six-hour confirmation hearing last week, Duffly faced stern questioning from Councilors Thomas Merrigan and Christopher Iannella, who accused her of being an activist judge and unnecessarily removing children from their fathers in divorce cases.

Merrigan talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 producer Jon Maclean before the vote

They joined Councilor Charles Cipollini in voting against Duffly’s nomination.

Meanwhile, Councilor Mary-Ellen Manning recused herself.

Yet Councilor Terrence Kennedy publicly proclaimed he would vote for Duffly, and in the end, he was joined by Councilors Kelly Timilty, Marilyn Petitto Devaney and Caissie.

Kennedy talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 producer Jon MacLean before the vote

Caissie said before casting her vote that probate and family cases defy easy analysis because they are based on the specific facts of each case.

“When you read the facts in the cases, she applied the law in each one of those cases,” Caissie said. “She’s a law-and-order judge. She puts public safety and victims rights first.”

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray only votes to break ties.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • cynic

    I’m assuming that she has the “Correct” view of the ‘Marriage”question. That seems to be the Litmus Test. Obviously without the “correct” leanings there would be no nomination. Not from Patrick.

  • Denise Murphy

    Judge Duffly is a fair jurist, a woman of intergrity, and an zealous advocate of the Constitution. Her integrity is beyond question and she is clearly qualified for the position. Her personal beliefs, whatever they are, are just that, her personal beliefs.
    She would be a welcome addition to our SJC.
    Our Govenor’s Counsel would be well advised to remember their role in this proceeding and not to let their own personal beliefs impune the integrity of this jurist.

  • Coachjim

    Maybe the SJC judges shouldn’t be appointed by the governor and approved by a governors appointed committee. New plan, judges should be elected to their positions by the people of the state, just like everyother polotician.

    • Chick in the Sticks

      The Governor’s Council is elected.

    • Cynic

      Appointed Judges may not be perfect but it sure beats whatever is in second place. A lot of horrible decisions are made by elected Judges with thier eye on the next Election.Appointment insulates them somewhat from the Hysteria of the moment.

  • slim_in_PRM

    This vote is a clear indication of the need for citizens to elect judges, as they do in nearly every other state. Duffly supports the creation of new rights for special interest groups, but opposes the age old right of children to grow up with both parents.

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