Kimberly Budd Is A Terrible Pick For Massachusetts Chief Justice

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When it comes to court picks, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s latest is a dud.

Baker nominated Kimberly Budd to serve as the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court in late October, and the Governor’s Council held their first public hearing for Budd on Thursday, November 12. She is currently a justice on the seven-member court. This nomination would make her the leader of the court.

Many news outlets will be quick to let you know that she would be the first black woman to serve in that role in the state’s history — whether it’s State House News Service, The Boston Herald, The Boston Globe, Law 360, or somewhere else. 

If playing identity politics is their angle, that’s fine. That’s their decision. However, Budd’s race and sex are irrelevant here. What matters here is that Baker just made a terrible pick that conservatives should be angry about.

This isn’t just another classic case of Baker being what many would call a RINO, or a Republican In Name Only. This is about Baker picking someone who doesn’t respect human life, law and order, women, or the environment. Budd has some terrible ideas that should even make some Democrats feel uncomfortable.

Budd, for example, said during a hearing in 2016 that got her onto the Supreme Judicial Court that she thought there were too many people on the state’s sex offender registry. She said, “Not from my professional experience, but just hearing about people who wind up on the registry that don’t necessarily need to be there and aren’t really sex offenders.”

It’s possible that Budd knows a couple of people who shouldn’t be on the list. But generally speaking, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts isn’t tough enough on sex offenders.

As Taunton’s Republican Mayor Shaunna O’Connell, formerly a state representative, wrote in 2016, “If you are on the Sex Offender Registry, you have committed a sex crime, and the public has a right to know what dangerous sex offenders live and work in their communities. There have been consistent attempts to weaken the registry. It is imperative that we have justices that will defend and protect the registry.’’

Ideally, the law would allow judges in this state to give pedophiles and rapists life sentences, protecting people from such heinous acts. Presumably, Budd wasn’t referring to high-level sex offenses. But all sex offenses are deeply troubling. In Massachusetts, information on so-called Level 1 sex offenders (which is the lowest of the three levels) isn’t available to the public, As for Level 2 and 3 offenders, their offenses should make us shudder. Their presence among the general public diminishes the safety of everyone.

Budd also has terrible views on abortion. Not only is she pro-abortion, but during her 2016 hearing to join the Supreme Judicial Court, she reportedly said that men, “for the most part” should stay out of the abortion conversation, according to State House News Service. Aside from abortion, how is it that half the population should be told to shut off their ability to engage in moral reasoning? What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong — no matter who thinks it.

And when it comes to abortion, wrong is wrong.

The abortion conversation is about whether or not you think it should be O.K. to kill a baby before the baby is born. This isn’t about a woman’s body. Cause and effect is simple: sexual intercourse may lead to the creation of a human baby. It has for thousands of years. Once conception occurs, that is a human; most biologists, if they’re honest, will tell you that human life begins at conception. It’s something 95 percent of them admit. But we don’t need biologists to tell us that — it’s obvious to anyone who thinks it through.

It’s also worth noting that abortion stops a beating heart, and it isn’t the mother’s.

We all have a stake in the justness of our society. So no, men shouldn’t stay out of the debate. Everyone should contribute, so that we have a better chance of doing the right thing.

And anyone who wants to silence some people’s voices in that debate ought to be treated with caution. In a just society, people like Budd would be nowhere near any position of power.

Consider Budd’s view of driver’s licenses for illegal aliens. Budd told the Governor’s Council in 2016, “Personally I don’t see any reason why an illegal immigrant couldn’t have a driver’s license.”

Maybe because this isn’t their country. Illegal immigration is bad for low-skill workers, costs taxpayers nearly $2 billion annually in this state, creates unnecessary crime, and increases carbon emissions. If we put more illegal aliens on the road not only will it create more traffic, but it will create more carbon emissions and give illegals another incentive to come to the Bay State. Plus, it contributes to a system of mass immigration that lowers social trust and cohesion in our communities.

We could say this decision by the governor is a disappointment, but it’s not. It’s what people should expect from a governor who restricted our First and Second Amendment rights during the coronavirus shutdown. The Supreme Judicial Court has done nothing about it — the only relief so far has come from the federal courts.

Since it’s Massachusetts, confirmation seems likely for Budd. It will be yet another example of why having a governor with an “R” next to their name isn’t necessarily a good thing.