- Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct
Media Contact for Chief Justice Regrets Commencement Comment
Jill Pearson, Executive Director
Boston, MA — The Commission on Judicial Conduct today released a statement from Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall of the Supreme Judicial Court. This resolves a complaint filed against Chief Justice Marshall regarding a comment by her preceding her commencement speech at Brandeis University on May 22, 2005.
Chief Justice Marshall makes the following statement: "In greeting the audience immediately before delivering my formal commencement speech, I commented on the hundreds of blue and white balloons, tethered in nets to the rafters and waiting to be released later, by saying 'No red states here.' The comment was an unconsidered, spontaneous attempt to connect with the exuberant celebratory feeling in the audience, reflecting the balloons I had seen. The reference to 'red states' was not part of my written, prepared speech. I regret the comment, and I apologize for it. I did not intend to say anything of a political nature. The comment did not reflect what I had intended. I regretted the comment as soon as I said it, and that has never waned. I hold sacred my oath to decide every case fairly and impartially and according to law."