Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday nominated Associate Justice Kimberly Budd to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, the nominee and her family joined Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito for a formal announcement at the State House. If confirmed, Justice Budd will be the second Black Chief; second female Chief and first Black female Chief. She will replace Chief Justice Ralph Gants who died earlier this fall.

Justice Kimberly Budd is a distinguished and well-respected jurist who will bring years of calm, steady and collaborative leadership experience to the Commonwealth’s highest court serving as Chief Justice… I have the utmost confidence that her unique perspective and understanding of the law will aid her as she transitions into the role of Chief and that under her leadership, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will continue its tradition of excellence in promoting the rule of law and fostering public trust. ~ Governor Charlie Baker


Other State Officials and dignitaries had words of support for the nomination as well.

Lt. Governor Polito called Budd a role model…

Throughout her career, Justice Budd has served as a role model for women and people of color and she has given a voice and a seat at the table to those who have not always been heard… her qualifications and character make her well suited to continue to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth with justice and integrity and I look forward to the consideration of the Governor’s Council in her appointment.


Former Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland says Budd has all the tools needed…

This was a wonderful appointment by the Governor… Justice Budd will do a fantastic job because she has all the tools necessary for the role. She is brilliant, hardworking, analytical, collegial, and astute. She is a great writer and a tremendous human being. I have watched her career over the years and am certain that Justice Budd will do an outstanding job as Chief Justice.


Former Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick in a press release sent from his home in the town of Richmond, called the nomination an inspired choice…

Justice Budd is an inspired choice for the next Chief Justice of our highest court. She is a thoughtful, measured jurist, experienced in both trial and appellate courts, patient, collegial, empathetic and a great listener. Like her predecessor, she will take care to seek justice, not just technical legal accuracy. I trust the Executive Council will also acknowledge her many gifts and confirm her historic appointment promptly.


The Supreme Judicial Court is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court, consisting of the Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The seven Justices hear appeals on a broad range of criminal and civil cases from September through May and issue written opinions that are posted online.

FayFoto/Boston via
FayFoto/Boston via

Kimberly S. Budd, Associate Justice, was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court by Governor Charlie Baker in 2016. Since her appointment, she has authored over 85 decisions.

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