Governor Deval L. Patrick
Official Oath Event for the Honorable Ralph D. Gants Chief Justice, Supreme Judicial Court
John Adams Courthouse
Monday, July 28, 2014

Good Afternoon.  

Thank you, Justice Botsford, for your kind introduction, and thank you for your many years of distinguished service to Judiciary. 

Judge Fein, thank you for your remarks and for your leadership on improving access to justice. 

Chief Justice Ireland, Marshall, and Wilkins, Associate Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court, and members of the Judiciary and court family, state and federal.

Governor Weld, fellow Constitutional Officers, and members of the Executive Branch, past and present.

Senate President Murray, Speaker DeLeo, members of the Legislature, Senator Cowan.

Members of the Governor’s Council, Judicial Nominating Commission, the Joint Bar Committee, and the Office of the Governor’s Chief Counsel’s office – each and every one of whom makes a meaningful contribution to the review and selection of judicial nominees. 

Reverend Clergy.

Brothers and sisters at the Bar.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

What a singular delight it is to welcome you all to this celebration of Ralph Gants as the SJC’s next Chief Justice.

A special welcome to Ralph’s family.  You made this great judge a good man.  That mattered to me, so I hope that you will take some pride in this appointment.

And I want to specially acknowledge the outgoing Chief Justice Roderick Ireland.  The citizens of the Commonwealth owe Chief Justice Ireland a deep debt of gratitude for his distinguished service in the judiciary for 37 years.  His stewardship of the courts as Chief Justice has been remarkable, for both improving performance and lifting morale.  He has been the right leader in a crucial time.  Chief Justice Ireland, thank you for your service and all the best to you in your future. 

I am extremely honored and proud to administer the oath of office to Ralph Gants as Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.  One of my great privileges and responsibilities as Governor is to nominate judges to the trial and appellate courts of the Commonwealth.  I take that responsibility very seriously.  Justice Gants’ appointment is very clear evidence that I do. 

As most of you know well, Justice Gants brings over 33 years of professional excellence to the Chief Justice position, including 16 years as a judge and 17 years in public and private legal practice.  He has served with distinction as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court for the past five years, and knows this Court well.  Throughout his career, Justice Gants has demonstrated an abiding fidelity to the rule of law and the constitutional balance of civil rights and civil responsibilities.  He has earned the high respect and deep admiration of all for his intellectual rigor, pragmatism, fair-mindedness, compassion and work ethic.  He is known as gracious, humble and quick-witted.  And he understands that the law needs to be just and make sense in the lives of real people. 

To the benefit of the Commonwealth, he will bring all of these gifts with him to the position of the leader of the third branch of government.

With confidence and thanks for his extraordinary service to the judiciary and to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I now administer the oath of office to Ralph D. Gants as Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.


       I, Ralph D. Gants, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance, to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the Constitution, thereof, so help me God.

       I, Ralph D. Gants, do solemnly swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially, discharge and perform, all the duties incumbent on me, as Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution, and the laws of this Commonwealth, so help me God.

        I, Ralph D. Gants, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States.