This just in from the Boston Globe:
Governor Deval Patrick announced this morning that he is nominating veteran associate justice Roderick L. Ireland as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, an appointment that would make Ireland the first black person ever to lead the venerable body.
“We are making history again,” Patrick said to applause at a State House news conference with Ireland that included some of Ireland’s oldest friends from his native Springfield.
Patrick lauded Ireland for his “wisdom and genuine concern for each and every litigant that comes before his court.”
“My nomination says that anything is possible,” said the 65-year-old Ireland, whose school guidance counselor decades ago suggested he become an auto mechanic. He had already made history as the first black associate justice on the court when he was appointed in 1997.
Chief Justice Margaret Marshall announced her retirement from the state’s highest court earlier this year, saying she wanted to spend more time with her husband, Anthony Lewis. The former New York Times columnist has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.