Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts
Statement on the passing of Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants
Williamsburg, Va., September 14, 2020 - The National Center for State Courts, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) mourn the loss of Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants of Massachusetts, who passed away September 14. Chief Justice Gants was appointed to lead the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in July of 2014, becoming the state’s 37th Chief Justice.
“Chief Justice Gants leaves behind a remarkable legacy of public service, and especially to those who he feared might slip through the cracks of the justice system,” said Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and President of CCJ.
Chief Justice Gants was an influential figure with his friends and colleagues at the national level. He served most recently as the co-chair of the CCJ-COSCA Committee on Access and Fairness. His leadership on that committee, and his support for equal justice for all, were driving factors in the adoption of a July 2020 policy resolution in support of racial justice.
“Throughout his career, Chief Justice Gants was a tireless advocate for access to justice. He used his leadership role in the nation’s state court system to press that cause,” said Laurie K. Dudgeon, Administrative Director of the Kentucky Courts and President of COSCA.
The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts. National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA 23185.