Two weeks ago, I watched the Governor’s Council hearing on the confirmation of the nomination of Judge Claudine Cloutier to the Superior Court.
It is just baffling to me how, with women’s reproductive rights under imminent threat, a majority of Councilors–all members of the Democratic Party–could allow this confirmation to proceed. Between the unanswered questions about her position on the topic, and her demonstrated support for anti-choice organizations, this hearing should have raised a red flag that Judge Cloutier would not reflect the opinion of a large majority of the citizens of District 8, and I would have strongly opposed a ‘Yes’ vote. The issue will absolutely end up in our courts, challenged sooner or later in an attempt to undermine our own reproductive rights and law, and as a member of the Council, I would consider it a personal responsibility to safeguard those rights to the fullest.
Fully supporting a woman’s right to choose is a basic plank of the Democratic Party platform, and as chair of my city’s Democratic Committee, I am fully outraged that any Democrat, let alone five of eight, would be in favor of Judge Cloutier’s promotion to the Superior Court.
It is, of course, absolutely the Judge’s right and privilege to have these sentiments. But nominees for the judiciary must make their viewpoints, attitudes, and biases open to consideration during confirmation hearings so that Councilors can effectively represent the people of their districts. I do not believe that this was fully done in this case.
However, the nomination having been confirmed, I would like to extend my best wishes to Judge Cloutier, and remind her that the citizens of the Commonwealth have time and again shown their support for safeguarding women’s health and reproductive rights. We remain vigilant in their protection, and we will be watching to make sure the members of our judiciary stand with us.