[Mitt Romney], who is considering a run for the Republican nomination for president in 2008, has cast himself to GOP audiences as a lonely Republican voice in an overwhelmingly Democratic state. But his judicial appointments led one out-of-state activist to suggest the choices might hurt Romney among Republican voters. Observers in the Bay State legal community, meanwhile, said they see a contradiction between Romney's judicial choices and his conservative rhetoric, including his stated opposition to same-sex marriage.
Romney has faced criticism from Governor's Councilors and some bar associations for failing to nominate more women, minorities, and defense attorneys to the bench. Seeking to counter such attacks, Romney's appointee to the chairmanship of the Judicial Nominating Commission, Boston lawyer [Christopher D. Moore], has reached out to minority and women's bar associations to encourage members to apply. He's done the same with the state lesbian and gay bar association, which also has a seat on Romney's joint bar committee.
Some of Romney's nominees do have stellar Republican or conservative bona fides. For example, Romney's pick for Peabody clerk magistrate, Kevin L. Finnegan, is a former two-term Republican state representative. Another choice was Bruce R. Henry, the son-in- law of former SJC Justice Joseph Nolan whom Romney wanted to represent his administration in seeking a stay of the court's gay marriage ruling.