Thursday, December 13, 2007

South End Biolab: Flawed Review Process

The Widget:

Court: SJC
Judge: Spina
Subject: South End Biolab
Tone: Academic
Importance: 2.3

Big news! In Allen v. Boston Redevelopment Auth., SJC No. 09960, The SJC today holds that the Secretary of Environmental Affairs blew it in the review of BU’s proposed South End biomedical research complex.

Or is it big news? Probably not. The Secretary had already agreed with the trial court’s determination and directed preparation of a supplemental environmental impact report. So not a lot was decided today, as Justice Cordy appropriately notes in his concurrence.

Justice Spina tries to address the mootness problem in his footnote 20. His point is that the issue is important and the Court has papers on it. But this is the second opinion in less than a week that’s involved a high court making an unnecessary pronouncement on a public policy question. Which isn’t really their job.

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