Justice BRENNAN, Circuit Justice.
Applicant has applied to me for a stay, pending this Court's review on certiorari, of the judgment of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirming applicant's conviction of criminal contempt in the Massachusetts Superior Court and of the 90 day sentence imposed for such contempt. -- Mass. --, -- N.E.2d --.
The principles that control my determination as Circuit Justice of this in-chambers application were stated, in pertinent part, in Rostker v. Goldberg, 448 U.S. 1306 (1980) (BRENNAN, J., in chambers):
My task is not to adjudicate this application on my own view of the merits of the federal questions presented, but rather to determine whether there is a "reasonable probability" that four Justices will consider the issues sufficiently meritorious to grant the petition of certiorari, and, if so, whether there is a fair prospect that a majority of the Court will conclude that the decision below was erroneous. Neither event can be predicted with anything approaching certainty, but nonetheless I have concluded that there is not a reasonable probability that certiorari will be granted, and that in any event there is not a fair prospect of reversal. Although applicant has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm, he has not demonstrated that the balance of equities in his favor is sufficient to overcome my strong doubt that certiorari will be granted or, in any event, that the judgment will be reversed. Accordingly, the application is denied.