Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules It’s Okay to Be Rude at Town Meetings
Even the Massachusetts Supremes want no part of the Massholes.
This was the legal precedent established when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled it perfectly legal for residents to make “rude” statements in town meetings.
So if you thought things got heated during those Wellesley pickleball debates, who knows what kind of slander they’ll be hurling at each other’s sweater vests now?
The case – Barron v. Kalenda – stemmed from an incident in which a Southborough resident stood up (in public, mind you) and said to a town board member:
“You’re a Hitler. I can say what I want.”
The resident also referred to town officials as “drunken sailors.”
The target of this accusation had the woman escorted out of the public assembly – to some, a logical course of action; to others, a less-than-ideal way of proving yourself not a Hitler.
Seemingly because it's 2023 and people everywhere are just saying whatever they want, Massachusetts lawmakers determined that it is our constitutional right to refer to local political adversaries as murderous fascists. However, the basis for the ruling can be traced all the way back for our fore-Massholes.
In their dissection of the ruling, the Brennan Center for Justice noted how the Court ultimately recognized the Massachusetts assembly clause, drafted by John Adams along with his cousin Sam (the very Adams one used to drunken a sailor).
Better still: the Court specified that the clause protects “rude, personal and disrespectful” conduct. Amazing. Only in Massachusetts could you go in asking for the right to be rude, and also come away with the right to be personal and disrespectful.