Lively undecided in appeal of case against Baker

Boston Statehouse

Pastor Scott Lively dropped off election paperwork at the state secretary’s office in 2018 while running against incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker for the Republican nomination. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2018]

BOSTON (State House News Service) – Former gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively said Tuesday he hasn’t decided whether he will challenge a judge’s dismissal of his lawsuit against Gov. Charlie Baker and the Republican Party over assistance given to Baker by the party during the 2018 GOP primary.

Lively, in an email, said he found out about Superior Court Judge Susan Sullivan’s ruling, which was written on June 25 and entered and mailed to the involved parties on June 28, from a State House News Service report published Monday.

“We haven’t yet decided what to do,” Lively said.

The controversial, conservative Springfield pastor said the “bigger question” for him is why Sullivan, who was nominated by Baker and confirmed to the bench in early 2018, was allowed to hear the case. He said he requested in court filings that a judge who hadn’t been appointed by Baker be assigned to the case.

“Aren’t there administrative safeguards in place to protect the integrity of the court and avoid such conflicts of interest? Was politics involved and if so what are the implications for other current and future parties in this court? Lively asked in his email.

Lively had sued Baker, the party and others for $7 million alleging breach of contract after the MassGOP provided support to Baker’s re-election campaign before the executive committee voted to waive its primary neutrality rules.

He also accused Baker and House Minority Leader Brad Jones of defamation and discrimination based on his religious views, which include opposition to homosexuality.

Sullivan dismissed all the charges, and authorized the plaintiffs to seek legal costs from Lively. Baker’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Lively’s questioning of the impartiality of the judge.

According to campaign finance records, Sullivan donated $100 to Gov. Charlie Baker’s campaign in February 2017, and also gave $50 toward Baker’s first run for governor in 2010.

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