Budd sworn in as 1st Black female chief of state high court

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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Kimberly S. Budd raises her hand as she is sworn-in by Gov. Charlie Baker Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, at the State House in Boston. (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool)

BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker swore in Justice Kimberly Budd as the chief justice of Massachusetts’ highest court on Tuesday.

Budd, 54, becomes the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, which traces its history to the late 17th century.

She replaces former Chief Justice Ralph Gants, who died in September. Her nomination was confirmed by a 7-0 vote by the Governor’s Council.

Baker, who nominated Budd, has called her “an exceptional and dignified jurist that has served on the Supreme Judicial Court with fairness and integrity.”

Budd, a former federal prosecutor, has served on the court since 2016. The Newton resident had previously served on the Massachusetts Superior Court.

Earlier in her career, she prosecuted cases in the major crimes and drug units as an assistant U.S. attorney before going on to work in the general counsel’s office at Harvard University.

Categories: Massachusetts, Politics, US & World News