Vickery Goes After Reilly
Was at the vigil last night. It was a moving event -- songs, speeches, stories, etc. A great moment was when Peter Vickery took out his copy of the Massachusetts constitution -- a document, he said, that trumped Reilly's -- and read the section on citizen-initiated constitutional ammendments, The Republican says
Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, a Democratic candidate for governor next year, last week certified the proposed amendment. Supporters still need to collect the signatures of 65,825 registered voters and win the approval of at least 25 percent of state legislators in two successive sessions of the Legislature before the amendment can be placed before the voters.
Because it's an effort by citizens, instead of legislators, the proposed amendment requires fewer votes of legislators to move to the ballot.
In response to Reilly's ruling, about 50 equal-marriage-rights advocates turned out on the steps of Northampton City Hall last night for a vigil. State Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley, and Governor's Councilor Peter Vickery were among the speakers. In a prepared statement, Vickery blasted Reilly, saying, "His job is to apply the clear language of the constitution, and the constitution says that you should not use a ballot initiative to reverse a judicial decision."
Here is the relevant passage
Section 2. Excluded Matters. - No measure that relates to religion, religious practices or religious institutions; or to the appointment, qualification, tenure, removal, recall or compensation of judges; or to the reversal of a judicial decision; or to the powers, creation or abolition of courts; or the operation of which is restricted to a particular town, city or other political division or to particular districts or localities of the commonwealth; or that makes a specific appropriation of money from the treasury of the commonwealth, shall be proposed by an initiative petition.