Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Friday,
Aug 22nd
Home News National Judicial nominee rejected partly due to ADL ties

Judicial nominee rejected partly due to ADL ties

E-mail Print PDF

Joseph BermanBOSTON — A judicial nominee for a seat on the top state court in Massachusetts was rejected in part because he had taken leadership positions with the ADL.

Attorney Joseph Berman, who was nominated by Gov. Deval Patrick for a judgeship on the Massachusetts Superior Court, lost his bid on March 5 in a tie vote of 4-4 by the Governor’s Council, the eight-member elected body that votes on judicial nominations. The council has been missing its tie-breaking vote since June, when the state’s lieutenant governor resigned.

Berman’s opponents cited several reasons for voting against him, including large contributions to political campaigns and his leadership roles in the regional and national ADL, a Jewish organization that fights anti-Semitism and discrimination.

Berman has contributed approximately $110,000 during the past decade, largely to federal campaigns, according to reports.

The criticism of the ADL link dates back to 2007, when the ADL’s national office declined to recognize the WW I genocide of Armenians in the former Ottoman Empire. The ADL claim was first brought against Berman by Councilor Marilyn Devaney last November.

Devaney lives in Watertown, a suburb of Boston with a large Armenian population. Patrick delayed the November vote on Berman’s nomination when Devaney made it clear that she had the votes to reject it.

At the November hearing and since, Patrick noted that the regional ADL and Berman have consistently recognized the Armenian genocide, and that Berman led the efforts to have the national organization change its position, which it did in 2008.

Patrick called the vote unfair and unprecedented, and said Berman was “well qualified in learning, experience and temperament to sit on the Superior Court.”

Robert Trestan, director of the New England regional office of the ADL, also expressed disappointment with the vote.

“I am disappointed that some members of the Governor’s Council have created a litmus test that excludes many of the best and brightest lawyers from serving as judges,” he told JTA.

“Some councilors have failed to acknowledge that ADL changed its position and now fully recognizes the Armenian genocide without reservation.”

Berman, a partner at the Boston firm Looney & Grossman, is a commercial litigation lawyer with a long track record in civil rights advocacy.

“If it weren’t for the issue of the ADL and political contributions, he would have been confirmed,” said Councilor Michael Albano, a Berman supporter. “Clearly he is qualified.”

 

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Well-known Turkish Jewish couple found murdered

Anthony Weiss A prominent Turkish Jewish couple were found murdered in their home in Istanbul. ... [Link]

In Australia, Christian, Jewish leaders vow to ‘love Muslims’

Anthony Weiss Christian and Jewish religious leaders in Australia have started a campaign to express love and support for the country’s Muslim population. ... [Link]

Israeli PM deletes controversial ISIS tweet

Anthony Weiss The Israeli Prime Minister’s office has deleted a controversial tweet that used an image from a graphic video released by ISIS. ... [Link]

Pro-Israel groups condemn attack on Temple student

Anthony Weiss An assortment of pro-Israel watchdogs and right-wing groups has issued a statement deploring the alleged assault of a Jewish student at Temple University and criticizing a pro-Palestinian group. ... [Link]

Elsewhere: The end of liberal Zionism, Jewish sperm, Russell Brand vs. Anti-Semitism

Talia Lavin JTA rounds up noteworthy items from the Web. ... [Link]

In shadow of Ferguson, group builds ties across racial, cultural lines

Anthony Weiss In St. Louis, the organization Cultural Leadership has focused on Jewish and African-American experiences to teach high schoolers to fight for social justice. ... [Link]

Vandals target Jewish school in Denmark

Gabrielle Birkner A Jewish school in Denmark’s capital city was vandalized this week — its windows broken and anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted on the building. ... [Link]

Boy killed by rocket fire; synagogue struck, injuring 3

Julie Wiener An Ashdod synagogue was hit by a rocket Friday afternoon, injuring three people lightly. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com