Governor Charlie Baker nominated Associate Justice Kimberly Budd to become the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts on Wednesday, October 28.
The vacancy on the court is due the the death of Chief Justice Ralph Gants on September 14.
Justice Budd would become the first Black female to be Chief Justice in Massachusetts.
The only previous Black person to serve as Chief Justice is Roderick Ireland. Governor Deval Patrick appointed Ireland in 2010, who served until 2014.
The only previous woman to serve as Chief Justice is Margaret Marshall. Governor Paul Cellucci appointed Marshall in 1999, who served until 2010.
Governor Baker appointed Justice Budd to the state Supreme Judicial Court in 2016. She has authored over 85 decisions since her appointment. Governor Deval Patrick appointed her an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court in 2009.
Justice Budd is President and Dean of the Flaschner Judicial Institute, designing continuing education programs for judges. She also serves as the Court’s liaison to the Committee on Judicial Performance Evaluation, the Trial Court Leadership Group, the SJC Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and the Judicial Youth Corps.
Justice Budd earned her law degree from Harvard Law School and her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University. Her legal career began as a law clerk to Chief Justice Joseph Warner of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
She has also been an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts in the Major Crimes and Drug Units.
Since being at the U.S. Attorney’s office, Justice Budd served as University Attorney for Harvard University in the General Counsel’s Office as well as Director of the Community Values program at Harvard Business School.