MASSACHUSETTS, C'EST MOll
With the autocrat's usual contempt for criticism Governor Curley has forced through the appointment of Arthur Baker as judge of the Massachusetts Superior Court. Even a hardy political horse-trader like President Roosevelt should take off his hat to his Boston understudy who has exchanged with a member of his own executive council one of the highest judicial posts in the Commonwealth in return for the failure to vote on an important appointment.
In wording their letter of protest against the Baker appointment the members of the Bar Association expressed a hope which was too optimistic and a politeness and respect which His Excellency hardly deserves. Black may be white, and Mr. Baker may be Galahad fresh from the Table Round, as the Bar tactfully suggested, but public opinion has been quite definitely on the other side. One would, of course, like to think that the appointment is a case of "post hoc sed non propter hoc," and this thesis is just about as sincere as Mussolini's recent self-appointment as the Abraham Lincoln of the dark continent.
No one will be surprised at the Governor's blustering indictment of the Bar Association's efforts. The motives of most people are not always as clear as those of Mr. Curley himself, but it appears obvious that the Bar saw a glaring injustice in the Baker appointment and voiced its unqualified disapproval as under our form of government all citizens have a right to do. The Association was certainly not dictating an appointment, merely trying to prevent a poor one.
All the quotations from Rufus Choate the Bar Association can summon up will have little enough effect upon the man holding the whip in the State House. To say that such a rank political trick endangers public confidence in the courts is too obvious a truth to emphasize. But, after all, what influence can such a trivial consideration have upon the Napoleonic mind of Mr. Curley? It is almost comic to hope that the integrity of the judiciary will mean anything to the man who has dragged the governorship of Massachusetts down to a level where almost no one has confidence in, or respect for, it.