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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Union Judiciary denies Secretarys retrial motion

Published: October 12, 2007
Section: News

The Union Judiciary has denied Student Union Secretary Michael Goldmans 08 motion for a retrial, after the UJ ruled against Goldman and in favor of Rivka Maizlish 10 in the case tried last week.

“This decision was not made lightly,” said Acting Chief Justice Bryan Deutsch '08 in an email to The Hoot. “We interpreted the Constitution in what we deem to be in an appropriate manner;

any additional arguments Mr. Goldman may have had in his defense should have surfaced during the trial itself.”

In Maizlish v. Goldman, the UJ ruled that Goldman acted unconstitutionally when he revealed election outcomes before polls had closed, and when he appointed Rajiv Ramikrishnan 10 to the position of Assistant Secretary of Technology. The position of Assistant Secretary of Technology has now been dissolved.

On Tuesday, Goldmans councilors, with Jordan Rothman 09 replacing Rachel Graham Kagan 08 as Counsel of Record, submitted a 25-page motion for retrial, citing that while well intentioned, the opinion of the court is fundamentally flawed in numerous counts. The motion, which is cosigned by Samuel Dewey 06, Igor Pedan 05, and Albert Cahn 07, states that the UJ ignored past precedent in making its decision.

I think its outrageous, its unprofessional, its incomplete, said Rothman, referring to the UJ decision. Basically, there didnt need to be a trial at all. They didnt take into account past precedent.

[The UJ] appeared to make this decision as if they found the Constitution at an archeological dig and had to figure out what it was, said Goldman. In no way did they refer to precedent. I think that shows the weakness of this kind of lawmaking.

Maizlish, who left the UJ trial in which she was the plaintiff after twenty minutes, refused to respond to The Hoot.

Even though the Senate confirmed Ramikrishnan to the position of Assistant Secretary of Technology, his title was removed, and his profile was deleted from the Union website.

I dont think Goldman evaded Senate confirmation maliciously, said Jacob Baime 08, Goldmans initial Counsel of Record in the case. I think that he honestly thought that he had it in his power to make appointments.

The retrial motion was not an unexpected move to Village Quad Senator Michael Kerns 09, who represented Maizlish in the case and wrote the initial petition that was sent to the UJ on Maizlishs behalf.

I would have been surprised if they didnt submit a 25-page motion, said Kerns Its a publicity thing.

I hope people can realize that my outspokenness and strong-wordedness on this issue has never been on a personal level, continued Kerns. The personal side of things and the result for Michael Goldman, frankly, sucks. Believe it or not, Ive made every effort to resolve this as constructively, but also correctly as possible.

It is unclear whether or not the Student Union Senate will pursue this matter further. The possibility exists that the Senate may impeach Goldman, now that the UJ has ruled that unconstitutional conduct occurred.

My main reaction is I hope this is over and we can move on with life, said Goldman. There have been rumblings that there will be round three, and if thats the case it would be self-evident to any rational observer that this is ridiculous.

Im just really looking forward to moving on from this. This is not what the Student Union is about, said Student Union President Shreeya Sinha 09. Sinha also explained that it is possible to resurrect the position of Assistant Secretary for Technology, if the Senate decides to create it and the process moves through the proper channels.

Goldman explained that the drawn out timeframe of the case against him, which began with a censure following a closed executive session of the Union E-board and has continued with the UJ trial and a possible Senate hearing, has caused him to change counsel multiple times, from Baime to Kagan, and now Rothman.

This process eats people alive, said Goldman. Theyve been to hell and back for me. Right now, Mr. Rothman is filling that breach and I have absolute confidence in his ability to see this through.

I believe firmly in Michael Goldmans position, said Rothman. I support him as both a friend and a Student Union representative. For the Union to pursue this any further is vicious, unethical, and wrong.