Keller @ Large: Buffer Zone Ruling Second Big Loss In A Week For Coakley

BOSTON (CBS) – Call this Martha Coakley’s week from political hell.

First, the state Supreme Court threw out her denial of ballot access for the casino repeal question. And now, her defense of the clinic buffer-zone law has been rejected as an unconstitutional stifling of free speech.

Coakley’s Democratic opponents, Don Berwick and Steve Grossman, are denouncing the decision. But that’s little comfort to Coakley, whose arguments were rejected unanimously by both liberals and conservatives on the court.

And as in the casino case, Coakley’s legal work is under fire, with the court noting she failed to bolster her argument with contemporary evidence of any misconduct by abortion clinic protesters.

These two weak efforts by Coakley have a common denominator that could prove politically toxic – an effort to curb the public’s voice on important public issues.

Mistrust of excessive state power runs deep in Massachusetts. Is it unfair for voters to see Coakley as a nanny state zealot after the events of this week? Perhaps. But no one ever said politics was fair.


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