A Question Of Grocery Store Politicking

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear a case Monday about where politicians have a right to campaign.

Steven Glovsky is challenging Roche Brothers supermarkets. The grocery chain stopped him from collecting signatures when he was running for Governor’s Council in 2012.

Glovsky bases his argument off of a previous court decision allowing candidates to campaign at the Northshore Mall.

“This is a really important question about your right of access to get people to sign your signature petitions,” says Sarah Wunsch with the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s fundamental to our democracy and the question should not have been decided by the lower court judge just based on the fact that this is a standalone grocery store and not a big huge shopping mall.”

But Roche Brothers argues it had the right to stop Glovsky because the store is on private property.

“The property owners also have constitutional rights,” says John Pagliaro with the New England Legal Foundation. “So it’s not just sufficient that somebody else who has a constitutional right he wants to exercise would like to impinge on someone else’s constitutional right. That doesn’t give him a right to do that.”

The case is scheduled to be heard in Boston Monday morning.

This story was written and reported by Michelle Woodward.