Breyer says court decisions are not based on politics

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer says the high court doesn’t make difficult decisions based on politics because “judges make terrible politicians.”

In a speech to Boston University law students Thursday, Breyer said many people see the court as a “junior varsity Congress” and believe the judges make their decisions based on their political leanings.

But he said the court takes centuries-old values in the U.S. Constitution and applies them to modern-day “circumstances that change minute by minute.”

Breyer spoke to about 450 students, sounding some themes in his 2010 book, “Making Our Democracy Work.”

Breyer described historical Supreme Court decisions that were initially defied by states, including school desegregation in Arkansas in the 1950s.

He said over the course of history, though, the country has mostly accepted the court’s rulings as the final word in legal disputes.


Officials approve demolition of historic Cheshire Inn

Selectmen in the town of Cheshire have approved the demolition of a 200-year-old building that has fallen into disrepair.

The board this week approved a nearly $50,000 contract for the demolition of the Cheshire Inn that awaits the approval of town meeting next month.

Work is expected to start as soon as approval is granted.

The North Adams Transcript reported that the inn built in the 1790s was once one of the grandest buildings in town, but is now in such poor shape that a hard hat is required just to enter it.

The town seized it from the previous owner in 2011.

The town thought of selling it, but determined the best option was tearing it down. The future of the site is to be determined.

AVON, Mass.

Bridgewater man charged with attempted murder

State police say a Bridgewater man faces attempted murder and other charges for driving his pickup truck toward two state troopers who opened fire before the vehicle struck a state police cruiser.

Police said 48-year-old Gene Guilbeault faces charges including assault with intent to murder and assault and battery on a police officer.

The troopers responded to an Avon doughnut shop about 11 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a report from a relative that Guilbeault was distraught and possibly armed. The troopers opened fire when the suspect drove his truck toward them.

The preliminary investigation indicates that no one was struck. The troopers were not hurt. Guilbeault was treated at a hospital for superficial injuries.


Man jumps from window, suffering serious injury

New Bedford police say a man who jumped from a third-story window while apparently trying to evade officers has been hospitalized with a serious head injury.

Lt. Jeannine Pettiford said officers responded to a city apartment building about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a call that a crowd was chasing a man.

The crowd was apparently angry after catching the man trying to break into another apartment. He fled to his own third-story apartment and locked the door.

Police told The Standard Times that when police entered the building, the man jumped and suffered what appeared to be a serious head injury. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I

His name was not released and the incident remains under investigation.


Lawmaker wants legislation to prevent scrap metal theft

A top legislative leader wants the state to do more to prevent scrap metal theft.

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio on Thursday announced legislation that would require scrap dealers to obtain a license before purchasing certain types of metals. Ruggerio’s bill would also set up new regulations for the sale of copper and other metals and create penalties for dealers who violate the rules.

Under the proposal, dealers would be prohibited from paying cash for any transaction over $500.

The North Providence Democrat said that if the state wants to crack down on scrap metal theft, it must not only target thieves but unscrupulous dealers who purchase stolen metals.

The bill is scheduled for a committee hearing next week.