MA Gov. Deval Patrick (left) with Chief Justice-designate Roderick L. Ireland
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the only Black governor in the country, has nominated Roderick Ireland to be the first Black Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Patrick was re-elected to a second final term as Governor on Tuesday November 3rd, and announced the nomination of Ireland to replace retiring Chief Justice Margaret Marshall. Marshall is well-known for writing the 4-3 majority opinion in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health which ended the state's prohibition on same-sex couples from marrying, the first state Supreme Court to do so in the United States in 2003.
Ireland voted with the majority and Patrick is also a strong supporter of marriage equality and LGBT rights. His teenaged daughter came out as a lesbian while he was governor and he marched with her in a gay rights parade.