Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP’s Newest Associate Attorney Writes an Inspiring Piece Regarding the 2020 Election Results
The Emergency Brake
You are riding on a train. It is operated by the most respected train company in the world, known for its order, timeliness, and consistency. This train ride, however, has been quite different. You look out the window and do not recognize this journey.
From the start, passengers speak up and protest: “No, this is not the right way! The Conductor has taken us off course!” The Conductor gets on the speaker and hurls insults and mercilessly mocks the passengers speaking up. He criticizes them for the way they look or speak, just like any grade school bully. You sit uncomfortably because you have never heard a Conductor talk that way before on the train.
The train keeps moving faster and faster. Outside, the landscape ahead is dark and gloomy. You see blight, disease, unchecked racism, and poverty – real human suffering unlike anything you have ever seen on your train journeys before. The Conductor jumps on the speaker continuously throughout the journey and declares to you and the other passengers that what you see outside is not what you see it to be. You notice that some of the passengers have pulled down blinds to cover the grim reality outside with sunny and joyful scenes.
The voices of passengers protesting the Conductor are getting louder. You look again outside the window and realize that the train tracks come to a stop ahead, and, just beyond that stop, there lies a deep cliff. You instinctively say out loud: “He’s going to drive us off the cliff!” The passenger next to you says, “Shhh don’t get involved, the train has automatic brakes that prevent the Conductor from taking us off the cliff.” You turn your head back and see a large group of passengers – which includes the people who initially spoke up and even some of the passengers who had their blinders down at the start of the journey. They are all congregating around a large lever that says, “Emergency Brake” and are trying to pull it. It is in that instant that you realize the fragility of the train’s operation – especially its brake system – and the key role that you and the other passengers play to prevent the train from going off the rails. You turn back to the passenger seated next to you and say: “The brakes are not automatic—we are the brakes that need to stop the train!” You run to the back of the train and join the other passengers. Together you pull down the Emergency Brake. The train creeps to a stop before the edge of the cliff. You and the other passengers are safe.
The attempted delegitimization of the 2020 Election Results has taken our democratic process off its set course and into uncharted territory. Of the dozens of lawsuits claiming widespread voter fraud, almost all of them have already been denied, dismissed, or withdrawn for a lack of evidence. In addition, a Texas lawsuit, which was supported at the highest level of our government, attempted to challenge the election results from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan despite the lack of credible evidence. When presented with that case, the Supreme Court resoundingly refused to hear it for the case’s lack of a cognizable injury. Still, however, numerous unfounded conspiracies are currently being peddled to purposefully undermine a core tradition in the United States since President George Washington: the peaceful transition of power.
The MCLE (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education) sponsored an eLecture where Mary Ellen Sowyrda, a partner with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented. Alongside Ms. Sowyrda was Daniel Ahearn, Esq., and Marlies Spanjaard from the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), school authorities are required to conduct Manifestation Determination when it comes to discipling a student with disabilities. Their presentation, titled “How to Handle Manifestation Determination Reviews for Students with Disabilities”, focused Read More
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.