Roderick L. Ireland

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Roderick L. Ireland
Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
In office
December 20, 2010 – July 25, 2014
Nominated by Deval Patrick
Preceded by Margaret H. Marshall
Succeeded by Ralph Gants
Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
In office
1997 – December 19, 2010
Nominated by William Weld
Succeeded by Fernande R.V. Duffly
Personal details
Born (1944-12-03) December 3, 1944 (age 70)
Springfield, Mass.
Alma mater Lincoln University
Columbia Law School
Harvard Law School
Northeastern University

Roderick L. Ireland (born December 3, 1944[1]) is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. He was nominated for Chief Justice by Governor Deval Patrick on November 4, 2010,[2] and sworn in on December 20.[3] He has announced his retirement effective July 25, 2014.[4] He was previously an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, appointed in 1997 by Governor William Weld. Prior to that appointment, he served on the Massachusetts Court of Appeals from 1990-1997 and the Boston Juvenile Court from 1977-1990. He was appointed to both courts by Governor Michael Dukakis. He is the first African-American associate justice and also the first African-American chief justice of the Massachusetts high court. He resigned from the high court in 2014, and was replaced by Associate Justice Ralph Gants.

Chief Justice Ireland graduated from Lincoln University with a B.A. in 1966, from Columbia Law School with a J.D. in 1969, from Harvard Law School with an LL.M. in 1975, and from Northeastern University's Law, Policy, and Society Program with a Ph.D. in 1998.[5]