Civil and Constitutional Rights

Hodgson’s off the wall idea

For the most part, Massachusetts is bereft of the cast of local Trump acolytes who have risen up elsewhere to pronounce the incoming president a leader of enormous vision and deeply-considered ideas. And then there is Tom Hodgson. The longtime Republican Bristol County sheriff has long been something of an outlier in the Bay State(...)

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SJC upholds parent rights of same-sex partner

SJC upholds parent rights of same-sex partner

Applies even if unmarried, no biological connection to children

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE PARENTING RIGHTS of a mother in a same-sex relationship extend even when the couple is unmarried and the mother has no biological connection to the children, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday. In a decision written by Justice Barbara Lenk, the Supreme Judicial Court overturned a Middlesex County family court’s(...)

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‘Encampment’ moved off Boston Common

‘Encampment’ moved off Boston Common

Police helped clear out area near Park Street Station

THE BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT last week evicted from the Boston Common a fairly large group of people who had been sleeping and hanging out for many weeks on the grass near the T’s Park Street Station, an area many consider the front door of the city. Police and city officials were reluctant to talk about(...)

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56 lawmakers to Healey: Back down

56 lawmakers to Healey: Back down

Object to Healey gun directive, its implementation

What follows is a letter 56 House and Senate lawmakers sent to Attorney General Maura Healey on Saturday and released to the press on Sunday. The lead signers were the Republican leaders from the House and Senate. We are writing to express our strong concerns about your decision to issue an Enforcement Notice relative to the(...)

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Mass. chiefs approve most gun permits

Mass. chiefs approve most gun permits

Only 1.8% of applicants denied, suggesting discretion not abused

ONLY A TINY fraction of Massachusetts residents who apply for firearms licenses or identification cards are turned down, suggesting the state’s reputation for restricting gun use may be overstated. Just 1.8 percent of those who applied for Firearms Identification Cards (FID) and licenses to carry concealed weapons between 2010 and 2015 were rejected, according to(...)

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Gateway Cities preoccupied with panhandling

Gateway Cities preoccupied with panhandling

Towns say beggars are bad for business, public safety

IN NEW BEDFORD, the City Council considered requiring panhandlers to get licenses to ask for money in the city. Manchester, New Hampshire, banned the exchange of items of value between motorists and pedestrians. And Worcester and Lowell enacted ordinances aimed at cracking down on “aggressive panhandling,” which, among other things, banned soliciting in close proximity(...)

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House backs transgender bill

House backs transgender bill

Debate draws the largest crowd of legislative session

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE IN A MAJOR VICTORY for equal rights activists, legislation aimed at preventing discrimination against transgender individuals in all public places, including bathrooms, passed the House on Wednesday, clearing one of the last remaining hurdles for the decade-old policy proposal. The House voted 116-36 in favor of the bill (H 4343) that(...)

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Gants calls off DeLeo leak inquiry

Gants calls off DeLeo leak inquiry

Law enforcement officials tell SJC they didn’t do it

AFTER FEDERAL AND STATE law enforcement officials said they didn’t do it, the Supreme Judicial Court is calling off its inquiry into who leaked to the press the confidential transcript of a deposition of House Speaker Robert DeLeo. In a May 31 letter to DeLeo, Chief Justice Ralph Gants said he had asked the US(...)

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