Rather than try to encapsulate this new article, or even quote from it, I implore you to read this shocking op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal: “Martha Coakley’s Convictions – The role played by the U.S. Senate candidate in a notorious sex case raises questions about her judgment.” Yes, the author Dorothy Rabinowitz is a conservative, but the case she presents is compelling and heart-breaking. (See also: Red State blog’s “Martha Coakley: Terrible Prosecutor.”)
The case described by Rabinowitz helps to explain to me why liberal blogger Jeralyn Merritt, a Denver defense attorney, has been such a passionate opponent of Coakley’s candidacy. (H/t Andy.) After all, Merritt’s blog is called “TalkLEFT,” and she supported Obama for president. But Merritt has intimate knowledge of how Martha Coakley handled prosecutorial cases, and is vehemently opposed to her. But it was the case described by Dorothy Rabinowitz, and more, that compelled Merritt to oppose Coakley for senator.
Merritt’s three recently expressed reservations, listed below, center on Coakley’s pivots around “hot potato” issues based entirely on Coakley’s whatever-it-takes political motives. Coakley also comes across as the nightmare image of a prosecutor, hellbent on winning a case no matter what tricks, including the manipulation of children, are required in order for her to win her case.
Even if you don’t remember her, you’ve doubtless seen Denver attorney Jeralyn Merritt on television as an expert commentator. Merritt also notes that Martha Coakley prosecuted the infamous Louise Woodward case, the nanny accused of murdering the child in her care via “shaken baby” syndrome. (By the way, that link takes you to a blog run by a New York Law School professor also profoundly opposed to Coakley’s candidacy.) At any rate, here are some of Jeralyn Merritt’s current concerns. Keep in mind as you read this list that her blog is named TalkLEFT:
(1) In “Another Reason Martha Coakley Should Not Be Senator,” Merritt writes:
I've never thought Martha Coakley would make a good U.S. Senator. I'm even more convinced now that she has signed her name to a brief restricting death penalty appeals, while claiming to be against the death penalty. … Read the details.
(2) In “Martha Coakley’s Bait and Switch on Abortion, Merritt writes:
Can't say I didn't warn you about Martha Coakley. The latest: a Bait and switch. During her campaign to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy, she said she wouldn't support a bill with restrictions on abortion.
Today, she announced her support for the health care bill with its restrictions on abortion funding.
Martha Coakley is not someone we need in the U.S. Senate. She certainly is no Ted Kennedy. (More here.)In my opinion, she's as unprincipled now as she was during the prosecution of nanny Louise Woodward.
(3) In the January 14th post, “Martha Coakley: Too Big a Risk for Senator,” Merritt — rather passionately — writes:
At Politico, Radley Balko summarizes Martha Coakley's prosecutorial over-reaching during her career and the threat she poses to those who care about criminal justice reform.
As a member of the Senate, not only would Coakley be creating new federal criminal laws; given her record as a prosecutor, there’s a good chance she’d serve on committees with oversight over the Justice Department and the judiciary. She’d also be casting votes to confirm or deny federal judicial appointments. Advocates for criminal justice reform should be wary. Coakley may share Kennedy’s opposition to the death penalty, but her record as a prosecutor leaves plenty of doubt about her commitment to justice.
I hope if you live in Massachussetts, you don't vote for Martha Coakley.
I’ve heard enough. This election is not any longer, for me, a referendum on Obamacare. This election is about electing the better of the two candidates. And Scott Brown is definitely the better of the two.
By the way, I was curious about Brown’s background, and found a good biography of his life at Wikipedia.