Subject: FW: Judge Says Legal System Biased
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 13:45:22 -0400
Reference: The Banner - Newsletter of Fathers and
Families, April 2000.
Massachusetts Judge Says Legal System Biased Against
Massachusetts District Court Judge Milton H.
Raphaelson delivered three surprisingly candid
lectures in February entitled, "Where is the pendulum
now? The gender bias in our courts." Speaking at
Becker College in Worcester, Judge Raphaelson
commented on a broad set of legal issues confronting
In discussing the widespread abuse of restraining
orders, Judge Raphaelson identified the central
problem as "...not an epidemic of domestic violence,
but an epidemic of hysteria about domestic violence."
He also stated that when abuse does occur, alcohol and
substance abuse treatment are often indicated rather
than a batterer's treatment program, but that judges
are reluctant to order such treatment out of deference
to battered women's advocates. He wryly noted that
even when a man is victimized, the "Victim Witness
Advocate" still stands beside the woman in the
Judge Raphaelson, a graduate of Boston College Law
School, is the First Justice of the District Court in
Dudley. In reference to his unusual candor, he said
that he had only seven months remaining on the bench
and that there was nothing "they" could do to him.
The implications of this remark are chilling. If
Judges are afraid to speak out about anti-male bias
from fear of a feminist backlash, they are also likely
to be afraid to make decisions from the bench
This idea seems to be supported by the recent remarks
of Judge Malcolm Jones, who retired last February.
Retirement apparently is a liberating experience for
judges. Judge Jones was quoted concerning 209A
restraining orders in the March 24 Standard-Times as
follows,"It's a necessary law, but it's an abused one.
I've seen it used too many times as a leverage in
divorce cases, not for women in imminent fear of
physical danger. One third of them are not legitimate,
merely used as an 'I'll fix you!'"
Judge Jones, who was Associate Justice in the Bristol
County Probate and Family Court, reportedly believes
there is a need to revamp the 209A law to prevent it's
abuse. Yet, there is no evidence known to us that
Judge Jones handled 209A complaints any differently
than other judges.
The fear of the feminist backlash is obviously strong.
To resist it, it is apparently not enough for a judge
to understand in his heart that the law is being
abused. One-sided feminist pressures will only be
overcome when the fatherhood movement generates equal
pressures on the courts in the direction of fairness