BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Governor Baker made an historic nomination to the state's highest court Wednesday, calling for Associate Justice Kimberly Budd to head the state's Supreme Judicial Court.
If confirmed, Budd would be the first Black and female Chief Justice, replacing Chief Justice Ralph Gantz, who died suddenly last month.
"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," Governor Baker said. "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."
Former Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland called Budd's nomination "a wonderful appointment" by the Governor.
"Justice Budd will do a fantastic job because she has all the tools necessary for the role," Ireland said. "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."
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley sent her congratulations to Justice Budd, calling her "a well-respected, thoughtful and dedicated public servant with a brilliant legal career."
"As the first Black woman to lead the SJC in the court’s centuries-old history, I have every confidence that she will meet and exceed the history-making expectations her service on the Supreme Court brings," Pressley said. "She is an excellent choice and a worthy successor to our late Chief Justice Ralph Gants, who spent his career pursuing justice, fighting for vulnerable communities, and working to model a more just and humane legal system."
After the formal announcement of her nomination Wednesday, Budd was asked about being the state's first Black and first female Chief Justice nominee.
"The idea of actually being just the Chief of the Supreme Judicial Court is more overwhelming to me," she said, "so I'm going to have to just work on pulling it all together."
Budd said the pandemic has caused a lot of people to hurt, and the judiciary must run as well as it can.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal reports:
(Photo: Gov. Baker/Twitter)