Margaret H. Marshall
|Margaret H. Marshall|
|Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court|
October 14, 1999 – December 19, 2010
|Appointed by||Paul Cellucci|
|Preceded by||Herbert Wilkins|
|Succeeded by||Roderick Ireland|
|Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court|
October 31, 1996 – October 14, 1999
|Appointed by||William Weld|
|Preceded by||Herbert Wilkins|
|Succeeded by||Judith Cowin|
|Born||Margaret Hilary Marshall
September 1, 1944
Newcastle, South Africa
|Spouse(s)||Anthony Lewis (1984-2013; his death)|
|Alma mater||University of the Witwatersrand
Margaret Hilary Marshall (born September 1, 1944) was the 24th chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and the first woman to hold that position. She was chief justice from 1999 to 2010. On July 21, 2010, she announced her retirement.
Marshall was born in Newcastle, South Africa, where she led a student organization for three years called the National Union of South African Students, which was dedicated to ending oppressive minority rule and achieving equality for all South Africans. According to Marshall, "There was no access to justice in South Africa...There were a few courageous barristers who agreed to represent people charged with political crimes, but, by and large, if you were a black South African, you had no justice. The death penalty was imposed in vastly disproportionate numbers. Many of the offenses were applicable to black South Africans only.".
From 1976 to 1989, she was an associate and a partner in private practice at the Boston law firm of Csaplar & Bok. From 1989 to 1992, she was a partner in the Boston law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart. Also from 1991 to 1992, she was president of the Boston Bar Association, the oldest bar association in the United States. From 1992-1996, she was general counsel to Harvard University.
Marshall was appointed to be an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1996 by Republican Governor William F. Weld. She was named as chief justice in September 1999 by Republican Governor Paul Cellucci, to begin her term on October 14, 1999. She is the second woman to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court, the oldest appellate court in the Western Hemisphere, and the first to serve as chief justice in its more than 300 year history.
In the course of her term, she wrote more than 200 opinions. Marshall wrote the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that declared that the Massachusetts constitution does not permit the state to deny citizens the right to same-sex marriage.
On July 21, 2010, Marshall announced her decision to retire from the court, effective at the end of October. Marshall said her decision was prompted by a desire to spend more time with her husband Anthony Lewis, who was suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Marshall serves as the senior fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University. She is the first woman to hold the position, and previously served a term as a Corporation fellow from 2004 to 2010.
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- Marshall, Margaret H. (21 July 2010). "Statement of Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall" (Press release). Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- "Margaret H. Marshall, a Law Partner, Is Wed to Anthony Lewis, a Columnist". The New York Times. 24 September 1984. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- Ellement, John (21 July 2010). "Margaret Marshall, author of Mass. gay marriage decision, to retire". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- "Jurist Margaret H. Marshall named Senior Fellow of Yale Corporation". Yale News (Yale University). 3 April 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- Marshall's profile at Massachusetts government website
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Judicial Profiles
|Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
|Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court