Ralph Gants

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Ralph D. Gants
Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Assumed office
July 2014
Nominated by Deval Patrick
Preceded by Roderick L. Ireland
Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
In office
January 2009 – July 2014
Nominated by Deval Patrick
Succeeded by Geraldine Hines
Associate Justice for the Massachusetts Superior Court
In office
Nominated by William Weld
Personal details
Born 1954 (age 60–61)
New Rochelle, New York
Alma mater Harvard College
Cambridge University
Harvard Law School

Ralph D. Gants (born 1954) is the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. He was sworn in on July 28, 2014. [1] Gants, a New York native, is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and has served as a Massachusetts judge since 1997.

Early life and career[edit]

Ralph D. Gants was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1954. He received his A.B., summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1976, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. The following year he completed a Diploma in Criminology at Cambridge University in England. In 1980, he earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School where he was notes editor of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation from law school, Justice Gants served as law clerk to United States District Court Judge Eugene H. Nickerson. From 1981 to 1983, he was Special Assistant to Judge William H. Webster, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1983, he was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, serving as Chief of Public Corruption Division from 1988 to 1991. In 1991, he joined the Boston law firm of Palmer & Dodge LLP, becoming a partner in 1994. He has taught at Harvard Law School, New England School of Law, and Northeastern University School of Law.[2]

Judicial career[edit]

He was appointed as a Judge of the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1997 by Governor William Weld. In 2008, he served as Administrative Justice of the Superior Court's Business Litigation Session. Governor Deval Patrick appointed Justice Gants to the Supreme Judicial Court in December 2008 and he took office in January 2009[2] after being confirmed by the Governor's Council.[3][2] On April 17, 2014, he was nominated by Governor Patrick to replace Roderick L. Ireland as Chief Justice after his retirement; he was confirmed by the Governor's Council and was sworn in on July 28, 2014.


Justice Gants is married with two children.[2]


  1. ^ "Honorable Ralph D. Gants of the Supreme Judicial Court Administered Oath of Office". Public Information Office, Supreme Judicial Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Calif. Democrats express optimism, poised for 2012". Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  3. ^ http://news.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1135988&srvc=next_article
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Greaney
Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Succeeded by
Geraldine Hines
Preceded by
Roderick L. Ireland
Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
July 28, 2014–present