Gants to be sworn in as new chief justice of Massachusetts high court

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BOSTON — A change is set for the state's highest court.

Ralph Gants is scheduled to be sworn in by Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday as chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.

Gants has been an associate justice on the court since 2009 and before that served as a Superior Court judge.

Patrick nominated Gants to succeed Roderick Ireland, who retired last week after 17 years on the SJC, including the last four as chief justice.

State appeals court judge Geraldine Hines was confirmed by the governor's council earlier this month to be an associate justice. She will fill the vacancy left by Ireland's retirement and elevation of Gants to chief justice.

The SJC, established in 1692, says it's the oldest continuously operating court in the Western Hemisphere.

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