Select Board legal case at Mass Supreme Court this morning (Updated)

The Supreme Judicial Court will hear and question arguments in residents' case against the Select Board's comment policy today.

Above: Unlike the federal Supreme Court, the public is able to watch the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts online. (image cropped from recent archived video)

Update (11/2/22 9:27 am): I initially posted that the court live streams. I wasn’t aware that more than one case is heard at a time – and it appears a case in a different room is being live streamed this morning. I’m unsure whether Barron v. Kolenda will have video subsequently available.


This morning, attorneys representing three Southborough residents and those defending the Southborough Select Board will argue in front of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

The court will explore whether the Board’s Public Comment policy violates the state constitution.

The court’s website has posted the following case on its docket for 9:00 am:

SJC-13284 Barron v. Southborough Board of Selectmen
Municipal Law; Free Speech– This is a challenge to a policy of the Board of Selectmen providing that remarks by the public during the board’s meeting must be respectful, courteous, and not rude or slanderous on the basis that the policy is an impermissible prohibition on free speech.

For those looking for more context on the case Barron v Kolenda, you can read that in my update two weeks ago here

You can find the court’s docket for the case here.  (Eventually, an archived video may be posted here.)

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Michael Weishan
1 month ago

Dear Beth
A couple of points. The video you reference above is actually active. People can look at it right now.
If folks would like to better understand the sad history that Louise Barron was so rightfully objecting to, this article listing many years of repeated Open Meeting Law violations by the BOS is elucidating:
https://www.telegram.com/story/news/local/south-west/2019/11/13/southboro-selectmen-found-in-violation-of-open-meeting-law/2306930007/

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