Speaking in judge’s defense over alleged bid to thwart ICE

Newton District Court
Newton District Court(File/The Boston Globe)

State courts must conduct business free of federal interference

Re “Judge’s role under investigation after immigrant evades ICE” (Page A1, Dec. 2): An increasing number of joint federal-state criminal investigations lead to arrests by police who seem to be interchangeably both state and federal agents, and the line blurs between federal and state police action. Many see the benefits, but defense attorneys like me see the dangers. We of Massachusetts must not perceive of our state courts as arms of federal law enforcement. It is fundamental to us, under our constitution (which John Adams wrote before he and a few others wrote the federal one), that state judges are not subordinate to federal agents.


State courts must be permitted some reasonable means of issuing their remedies free from the interference of federal agencies, especially when those agencies rely on state resources to transform state hearings into federal deportation actions.

A state judge has a duty to see her judgments implemented. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents abuse the process in the same way as others who are at the courthouse hoping to further some other business. A judge may occasionally direct that those summoned before her be released free of the unwanted company of harassing creditors, hostile litigants, abusive partners, overly aggressive media, or ICE agents.

Ian Stone


Baker, Globe editorial tromp on due process for judge

Thanks to Adrian Walker for speaking out in support of Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph (“Judge deserves due process,” Metro, Dec. 5). Governor Baker (“Baker seeks to penalize judge,” Page A1, Dec. 4) and, in its own way, even the Globe editorial (“A state judge courts trouble,” Dec. 5) found Joseph guilty until proven innocent. As Walker points out, the governor has advocated for a denial of due process. Such denial would be shameful.

Furthermore, we should support the judge even if she was guilty as charged. It would show only that she cares about the well-being of people in trouble and has a conscience that should be respected and admired.


John L. Hodge

Jamaica Plain

Just who is ‘obstructing justice’ here?

Re “Baker seeks to penalize judge”: How can you have judicial process in the courtroom with ICE there? The governor says that “judges are not supposed to be in the business of obstructing justice.” But isn’t that exactly what ICE is doing? I commend Judge Shelley M. Joseph for her courage in standing up to ICE. I wish I could say the same for Charlie Baker, who has not stood up for immigrant justice in his tenure as governor.

Peter Lowber