For Immediate Release - June 30, 2015

Governor Baker Nominates Justice Scott Kafker Appeals Court Chief Justice

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced the nomination of Justice Scott Kafker to serve as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Justice Kafker has served as an Associate Justice of the Appeals Court since 2001, and is nominated to fill the vacancy being created by the retirement of Chief Justice Phillip Rapoza, announced in February, and effective today. This is Governor Baker’s first judicial nomination since taking office.

“Justice Kafker is an esteemed jurist that I am confident has the ability to lead this influential court, in its mission of rendering thoughtful, well-reasoned appellate decisions timely and efficiently and treating all those who come before the court fairly and impartially,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “It is my honor to nominate him as Chief Justice of the Appeals Court and Lt. Governor Polito and I thank him for his willingness to serve the Commonwealth in this important role.”

"I am deeply honored and humbled to be nominated by Governor Baker to be Chief Justice of the Appeals Court,” said Justice Scott Kafker. “I consider leadership of the Appeals Court at this critical time to be a wonderful opportunity to advance the administration of justice in the Commonwealth and serve all of its citizens. I also look forward to meeting with the Governor's Council to discuss the inner-workings of the Court and my ideas for its advancement. It is truly a privilege to be considered. A Chief Justice must wake up every morning committed to making a difference in the lives of the people of the Commonwealth by inspiring and requiring the court to live up to the highest standards of the judiciary. I aspire to this most important responsibility."

Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Applicants for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and recommended to the governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of volunteers from a cross-section of the Commonwealth's diverse population to screen judicial applications. Twenty-one members were later appointed to the JNC in April.

About Associate Justice Scott L. Kafker:

Associate Justice Scott L. Kafker joined the Massachusetts Appeals Court in March of 2001, appointed by then Governor Paul Cellucci. Prior to joining the Appeals Court, Justice Kafker served as chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and deputy chief legal counsel to Governor William F. Weld. Before joining the Boston law firm of Foley, Hoag & Elliot as an associate, Justice Kafker served as a law clerk to Judge Mark L. Wolf of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Justice Kafker has taught constitutional law at Boston College Law School since 2009 and serves on the Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure. He graduated from Amherst College in 1981 and obtained his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985.

Additional biography information is available here.