The Massachusetts chief justice who voted with the majority in a 4-3 ruling that directed the legislature to rewrite the commonwealth’s marriage laws to permit same-sex couple unions is married to a former prominent columnist for the New York Times.
Margaret Marshall, a native of South Africa, is married to recently retired columnist Anthony Lewis.
One of Marshall’s chief nemeses, J. Edward Pawlick, attorney for Massachusetts Citizens for Marriage, sees the marriage as a politically beneficial alliance with the Sulzberger family, who consider Lewis a family friend as well as a one-time premiere columnist for the newspaper.
Pawlick’s new book, “Libel By New York Times,” traces the paper’s involvement in the judicial decision that rocked the nation.
The attorney notes a Times subsidiary, the Boston Globe, pressed for Marshall’s appointment to the state’s highest court without revealing its conflict of interest.
“Now we see more of the results of the New York Times-Boston Globe power,” Pawlick said. “How the people react will be seen. But their outrage will be muted by the immense power of the five family-owners of The New York Times Company.”
Marshall’s Supreme Judicial Court decided homosexual couples are legally entitled to wed under the state constitution and should be allowed to apply for marriage licenses, overturning a ruling by a lower court handed down in May 2002 which said state law does not convey the right of marriage to homosexual couples.