Coordinates: 42°21′33″N 71°03′39″W / 42.359297°N 71.060954°W / 42.359297; -71.060954

Supreme Judicial Court
of Massachusetts
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.png
Seal with motto "Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus aut differemus, rectum aut justitiam" (To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice)
Established1692; 330 years ago (1692)
LocationBoston, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°21′32.75″N 71°3′40.5″W / 42.3590972°N 71.061250°W / 42.3590972; -71.061250
Composition methodExecutive appointments with quasi-legislative consent
Authorized byMassachusetts Constitution
Appeals toSupreme Court of the United States
Judge term lengthMandatory retirement at 70 years of age
Number of positions7
WebsiteOfficial website
Chief Justice
CurrentlyKimberly S. Budd
SinceDecember 1, 2020
Lead position endsOctober 23, 2036
John Adams Courthouse, home to the SJC
John Adams Courthouse, home to the SJC

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Although the claim is disputed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,[1][2] the SJC claims the distinction of being the oldest continuously functioning appellate court in the Americas,[3] with a recognized history dating to the establishment of the Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature in 1692 under the charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.[4][nb 1]

Although it was historically composed of four associate justices and one chief justice, the court is currently composed of six associate justices and one chief justice.

History

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court traces its history back to the high court of the British Province of Massachusetts Bay, which was chartered in 1692. Under the terms of that charter, Governor Sir William Phips established the Superior Court of Judicature as the province's local court of last resort (some of the court's decisions could be appealed to courts in England). When the Massachusetts State Constitution was established in 1780, legislative and judicial records show that the state's high court, although renamed, was a continuation of provincial high court. During and after the period of the American Revolution the court had members who were appointed by royal governors, the executive council of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress (which acted as the state's executive from 1775 to 1780), and governors elected under the state constitution.

Location and citation

The SJC sits at the John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, Massachusetts 02108, which also houses the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Social Law Library. The legal citation for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is "Mass."

Landmark cases

Composition

The Court consists of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts with the consent of the Governor's Council.

The Justices hold office until the mandatory retirement age of seventy, like all other Massachusetts judges since 1972.

Current composition

Main article: List of justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

The currently serving justices are:

Position Name Portrait Born Began service Mandatory retirement Appointed by College Law school
Chief Justice Kimberly S. Budd
Kimberly S. Budd.jpg
(1966-10-23) October 23, 1966 (age 55) December 1, 2020[a] 2036 Charlie Baker (R) Georgetown Harvard
Associate Justice Frank Gaziano
Frank M. Gaziano.jpg
(1963-09-08) September 8, 1963 (age 58) August 18, 2016 2034 Charlie Baker (R) Lafayette College Suffolk
Associate Justice David A. Lowy
David A. Lowy.jpg
1959/1960 (age 61–62) August 24, 2016 2029/2030 Charlie Baker (R) UMass Boston University
Associate Justice Elspeth B. Cypher
Elspeth B. Cypher.jpg
(1959-02-26) February 26, 1959 (age 63) March 31, 2017[9] 2029 Charlie Baker (R) Emerson Suffolk
Associate Justice Scott L. Kafker
Scott L. Kafker.jpg
(1959-04-24) April 24, 1959 (age 63) August 21, 2017 2029 Charlie Baker (R) Amherst Chicago
Associate Justice Dalila Argaez Wendlandt
Dalila Argaez Wendlandt.jpg
1968/1969 (age 52–53) December 4, 2020 2038/2039 Charlie Baker (R) Illinois Stanford
Associate Justice Serge Georges Jr.
Serge Georges, Jr.jpg
1969/1970 (age 51–52)[10] December 16, 2020 2039/2040 Charlie Baker (R) Boston College Suffolk
  1. ^ Associate Justice from August 24, 2016 to December 1, 2020.

Notable members

Notes

  1. ^ The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania disputes this, claiming to be eight years older.[5]

References

  1. ^ ["Supreme Court – Courts – Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania". www.pacourts.us. Retrieved 7 July 2017. "Supreme Court – Courts – Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania". www.pacourts.us. Retrieved 7 July 2017.] ((cite web)): Check |url= value (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ The Virginia Supreme Court was founded as a appellete Court in 1623;it became a Supreme Court in 1779; The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was founded as a Provincial Court in 1684; it became a Supreme Court in 1722;the New York Supreme Court was established as the Supreme Court of Judicature by the Province of New York on May 6, 1691. It became the New York Supreme Court under the New York Constitutional Convention of 1846.
  3. ^ "Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts home page". Archived from the original on 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  4. ^ Eichholz, Alice (2004). Alice Eichholz (ed.). Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources (3rd Revised ed.). Ancestry Publishing. p. 316. ISBN 978-1593311667.
  5. ^ "About the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania – SCOPA Review". Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  6. ^ Zobel, Hiller (1970). Boston Massacre, pp. 243–265
  7. ^ Zobel, pp. 269–286
  8. ^ Lowell, Delmar R., The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells of America from 1639 to 1899 (p 35); Rutland VT, The Tuttle Company, 1899; ISBN 978-0-7884-1567-8.
  9. ^ "Justice Margot Botsford retires from SJC – The Boston Globe". Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  10. ^ Lisinski, Chris (December 17, 2020). "Randolph's Serge Georges sworn in to Supreme Judicial court". The Patriot Ledger. Retrieved January 7, 2021.

Works cited