The big local news of the day is that Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, is retiring in order to take care of her ailing husband, retired New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis.
But before Marshall joined the SJC, she was general counsel for Harvard University, using hardball tactics to make accusations of racial discrimination go away. I wrote about her Harvard days for the Boston Phoenix in 1999.
My take back then was that Marshall was not the liberal firebrand her supporters were hoping she’d be. Yet she will forever be known as the author of the Goodridge (pdf) decision, which paved the way for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. It is a magnificent legacy, and Media Nation sends her best wishes upon her retirement.
And speaking of Lewis, I’ve read two of his books on the First Amendment, and they are both first-rate: “Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment” and “Freedom for the Thought We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment.” Highly recommended.