Following this afternoon's confirmation of Associate
D. Gants to become the next Chief Justice of the Massachusetts
Supreme Judicial Court, Boston Bar
Association (BBA) President Paul T. Dacier issued the following
"The Boston Bar Association applauds the Governor's Council
for confirming Ralph Gants as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial
Court. The Supreme Judicial Court is the highest court in the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, and its decisions concern the full spectrum of law. Those
decisions affect the lives of all of us in Massachusetts and beyond.
Justice Gants is a leader among jurists and in the community. His
exemplary intellect and commitment to the rule of law has been demonstrated over
his long and distinguished career on the bench. As Justice Gants said in his
recent confirmation hearing, the Constitution is a 'living, breathing
document…[that] must adapt to changing circumstances and to our evolving
understanding of the meaning of due process and equity under the law.'
his testimony before the Governor's Council, we were pleased to see that Justice
Gants expressed views against mandatory sentencing and the death penalty, showed
support for providing the possibility of parole for juveniles, and spoke of
treating specialty court sessions as 'problem solving courts.'
Justice Gants's leadership and partnership on pro bono and access to justice
initiatives, including our work with him on the Massachusetts Access to Justice
Commission. The BBA appreciates his willingness to collaborate with the
legislature to achieve common goals, including adequate funding for the trial
court, and to address serious problems facing the judiciary.
congratulate Justice Gants on the occasion of his confirmation – the
Commonwealth will be well-served with his leadership of the Supreme Judicial
Justice Gants was nominated to the Supreme Judicial Court in
2008. Prior to that appointment, he served on the Massachusetts Superior
Court since 1997 and was Administrative Justice of the Superior Court's Business
Litigation Session during that time. He was recognized at the 2012 BBA
Annual Law Day Dinner with the Citation of Judicial