Budd sworn in as 1st Black female chief of Massachusetts high court


In this Nov. 21, 2016, file photo, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justice Kimberly Budd smiles during a swearing-in ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston.(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker swore in Justice Kimberly Budd Tuesday as chief justice of the state’s highest court.

The 54-year-old Budd becomes the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, which traces its history to the late 17th century.

She replaces former Chief Justice Ralph Gants, who died in September.

Baker, who nominated Budd, has called her “an exceptional and dignified jurist that has served on the Supreme Judicial Court with fairness and integrity.”

Budd, a former federal prosecutor, has served on the high court since 2016.

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