In a post earlier this week, I noted the launch by the online magazine Slate of a legal blog, Convictions, with an array of contributors drawn from all corners of the legal world. Notably, one of those contributors is Nancy Gertner, a U.S. district judge who sits in Boston and who may be Massachusetts’ first blogging judge. On Monday, Judge Gertner posted an introduction to the blog, calling herself “an unlikely blogger.” Noting that judges are more limited than many in what they can say, she writes:
“To me, the issue goes beyond what we are ‘permitted’ to comment about and what we are not ‘permitted’ to comment about. I think judges have a responsibility to participate in the public debate and that’s what I hope to do here — all consistent with, indeed enhancing, my ‘day’ job.”
Today, she kicked off her participation in the public debate with a post addressing whether, in the wake of this week’s Supreme Court decision in Snyder v. Louisiana, the time has come to eliminate peremptory challenges. No, she argues, because “peremptory challenges represent the system’s safety valve” that adjusts for weaknesses in the jury selection process.
Judge Gertner has long held my respect, as a judge and as a private attorney. I will look forward to reading her posts — and for other Massachusetts judges to join her in blogging.