Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 42°21′33″N 71°03′39″W / 42.359297°N 71.060954°W / 42.359297; -71.060954

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Seal of Massachusetts.svg
Seal of Massachusetts
Established 1692
Jurisdiction Massachusetts Massachusetts, United States United States
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Composition method Executive appointment with quasi-legislative consent
Authorized by Massachusetts Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
John Adams Courthouse, home to the SJC

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The SJC has the distinction of being the oldest continuously functioning appellate court in the Western Hemisphere.

Contents

History

The court was established in 1692 as the "Superior Court of Judicature". It was formed by order of the British Crown in response to the large number of prosecutions stemming from the Salem Witch Trials. Its name was changed to the Supreme Judicial Court after the adoption of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780. In 1804 an official case reporter was created to publish the court's decisions, and the first officially reported decision was Gold v. Eddy (1804).

Functions

The seven Justices hear appeals on a broad range of criminal and civil cases between September and May.

Single Justice sessions are held each week throughout the year for certain motions pertaining to cases on trial or on appeal, bail reviews, bar discipline proceedings, petitions for admission to the bar, and a variety of other statutory proceedings. The Associate Justices sit as Single Justices each month on a rotation schedule.

The full bench renders approximately 200 written decisions each year; the single justices decide a total of approximately 600 cases annually.

In addition to its appellate functions, the SJC is responsible for the general superintendence of the judiciary and of the bar, the creation or approval of rules for the operations of all the state courts, and, in certain instances, providing advisory opinions, upon request, to the Governor and General Court on various legal issues.

The SJC also has oversight responsibility in varying degrees, according to statutes, with several affiliated agencies of the judicial branch, including the Board of Bar Overseers, the Office of Bar Counsel, the Board of Bar Examiners, the Clients' Security Board, the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Massachusetts Mental Health Legal Advisors’ Committee, and Correctional Legal Services, Inc.

The SJC is sits at the John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Boston, Massachusetts 02108, which also houses the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Social Law Library.

Landmark cases

  • Rex v. Wemms, et al. (1770) - Six soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre were found not guilty, and two more – the only two proven to have fired – were found guilty of manslaughter.
  • Commonwealth v. Nathaniel Jennison (1783) - The Court declared slavery unconstitutional in the state of Massachusetts by allowing slaves to sue their masters for freedom. Boston lawyer, and member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1779, John Lowell, upon the adoption of Article I for inclusion in the Massachusetts Constitution, exclaimed: "...I will render my services as a lawyer gratis to any slave suing for his freedom if it is withheld from him..."[1] With this case, he fulfilled his promise. Slavery in Massachusetts was denied legal standing.
  • Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842) - The Court established that trade unions were not necessarily criminal or conspiring organizations if they did not advocate violence or illegal activities in their attempts to gain recognition through striking. This legalized the existence of non-socialist or non-violent trade organizations, though trade unions would continue to be harassed legally through anti-trust suits and injunctions.

Composition

The Court consists of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts with the consent of the Governor's Council. The Justices hold office until the mandatory retirement age of seventy, like all other Massachusetts judges.

Advertisements

Current composition

The currently serving justices are:

Justice Began active
service
Appointed
by
Marshall, Margaret H.Margaret H. Marshall (Chief) 1999 William Weld
Botsford, MargotMargot Botsford 2007 Deval Patrick
Cordy, Robert J.Robert J. Cordy 2001 Paul Cellucci
Cowin, Judith A.Judith A. Cowin 1999 Paul Cellucci
Gants, RalphRalph Gants 2009 Deval Patrick
Ireland, Roderick L.Roderick L. Ireland 1997 Paul Cellucci
Spina, Francis X.Francis X. Spina 1999 Paul Cellucci

Notable members

List of Chief Justices

Pre-Revolution

# Chief Justice Took office Left office
1 John Stoughton 1692 1701
2 Wait Winthrop 1701 1701
3 Isaac Addington 1702 1703
4 Wait Winthrop 1708 1717
5 Samuel Sewall Samuel Sewall.jpg 1718 1728
6 Benjamin Lynde 1729 1745
7 Paul Dudley 1745 1751
8 Stephen Sewall 1752 1760
9 Thomas Hutchinson 1761 1769
10 Benjamin Lynde 1769 1771
11 Peter Oliver 1772 1775

Post-Revolution

# Chief Justice Took office Left office
1 John Adams Johnadamsvp.flipped.jpg 1775 1776
2 William Cushing WilliamCushing.jpg 1777 1789
3 Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent 1790 1791
4 Francis Dana Francis Dana.jpg 1791 1806
5 Theophilus Parsons Theophilus Parsons.jpg 1806 1813
6 Samuel Sewall 1814 1814
7 Isaac Parker August 24, 1814 July 25, 1830
8 Lemuel Shaw Lemuelshaw.jpg August 30, 1830 August 21, 1860
9 George Tyler Bigelow September 7, 1860 December 31, 1867
10 Reuben Atwater Chapman February 7, 1868 June 28, 1873
11 Horace Gray Horace Gray.jpg September 5, 1873 January 9, 1882
12 Marcus Morton January 16, 1882 August 27, 1890
13 Walbridge A. Field Walbridge Abner Field.png September 4, 1890 July 15, 1899
14 Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Oliver wendell holmes jr.jpg August 2, 1899 December 8, 1902
15 Marcus Perrin Knowlton December 17, 1902 September 7, 1911
16 Arthur Prentice Rugg September 20, 1911 June 12, 1938
17 Fred Tarbell Field June 30, 1938 July 24, 1947
18 Stanley Elroy Qua August 6, 1947 September 6, 1956
19 Raymond Sanger Wilkins September 13, 1956 September 1, 1970
20 G. Joseph Tauro 1970 January 10, 1976
21 Edward F. Hennessey 1976 April 19, 1989
22 Paul J. Liacos June 20, 1989 September 30, 1996
23 Herbert P. Wilkins October 1, 1996 August 31, 1999
24 Margaret H. Marshall Marshall Margaret.jpg October 14, 1999 Incumbent
(faces mandatory retirement on September 1, 2014)

All members after 1800

Justice Began active
service
Ended active
service
Appointed
by
Abrams, RuthRuth Abrams - - -
Allen, WilliamWilliam Allen - - -
Allen, CharlesCharles Allen - - -
Ames, SethSeth Ames - - -
Barker, JamesJames Barker - - -
Bigelow, GeorgeGeorge Bigelow - - -
Botsford, MargotMargot Botsford - - -
Braley, HenryHenry Braley - - -
Braucher, RobertRobert Braucher - - -
Carroll, JamesJames Carroll - - -
Chapman, ReubenReuben Chapman - - -
Colburn, WaldoWaldo Colburn - - -
Colt, JamesJames Colt - - -
Cordy, Robert J.Robert J. Cordy - - -
Counihan, EdwardEdward Counihan - - -
Cowin, Judith A.Judith A. Cowin - - -
Cox, LouisLouis Cox - - -
Crosby, John C.John C. Crosby - - -
Cushing, CalebCaleb Cushing - - -
Cutter, R. AmmiR. Ammi Cutter - - -
Dana, FrancisFrancis Dana - - -
Dawes, ThomasThomas Dawes - - -
Decourcy, CharlesCharles Decourcy - - -
Devens, CharlesCharles Devens - - -
Dolan, ArthurArthur Dolan - - -
Donahue, CharlesCharles Donahue - - -
Endicott, WilliamWilliam Endicott - - -
Field, Fred T.Fred T. Field - - -
Field, WaldridgeWaldridge Field - - -
Fletcher, RichardRichard Fletcher - - -
Forbes, CharlesCharles Forbes - - -
Foster, DwightDwight Foster - - -
Fried, CharlesCharles Fried - - -
Gants, Ralph D.Ralph D. Gants - - -
Gardner, WilliamWilliam Gardner - - -
Gray, HoraceHorace Gray - - -
Greaney, John M.John M. Greaney - - -
Hammond, JohnJohn Hammond - - -
Hennessey, Edward F.Edward F. Hennessey - - -
Hoar, Ebenezer R.Ebenezer R. Hoar - - -
Holmes, Oliver W.Oliver W. Holmes - - -
Hubbard, SamuelSamuel Hubbard - - -
Ireland, Roderick L.Roderick L. Ireland - - -
Jenney, CharlesCharles Jenney - - -
Kaplan, BenjaminBenjamin Kaplan - - -
Kirk, Sr., Paul G.Paul G. Kirk, Sr. - - -
Knowlton, MarcusMarcus Knowlton - - -
Lathrop, JohnJohn Lathrop - - -
Liacos, Paul J.Paul J. Liacos - - -
Lord, OtisOtis Lord - - -
Loring, WilliamWilliam Loring - - -
Lummus, HenryHenry Lummus - - -
Lynch, Neil L.Neil L. Lynch - - -
Marshall, Margaret H.Margaret H. Marshall - - -
Merrick, PlinyPliny Merrick - - -
Metcalf, TheronTheron Metcalf - - -
Morton, MarcusMarcus Morton - - -
Morton, JamesJames Morton - - -
Nolan, JosephJoseph Nolan - - -
O'Connor, FrancisFrancis O'Connor - - -
Pierce, EdwardEdward Pierce - - -
Qua, StanleyStanley Qua - - -
Quirico, FrancisFrancis Quirico - - -
Reardon, PaulPaul Reardon - - -
Ronan, JamesJames Ronan - - -
Rugg, ArthurArthur Rugg - - -
Sanderson, GeorgeGeorge Sanderson - - -
Sedgwick, TheodoreTheodore Sedgwick - - -
Sewall, SamuelSamuel Sewall - - -
Sheldon, HenryHenry Sheldon - - -
Sosman, Martha B.Martha B. Sosman - - -
Soule, AugustAugust Soule - - -
Spalding, JohnJohn Spalding - - -
Spiegel, JacobJacob Spiegel - - -
Spina, Francis X.Francis X. Spina - - -
Strong, SimeonSimeon Strong - - -
Tauro, G. JosephG. Joseph Tauro - - -
Thatcher, GeorgeGeorge Thatcher - - -
Thomas, BenjaminBenjamin Thomas - - -
Wait, WilliamWilliam Wait - - -
Wells, JohnJohn Wells - - -
Whittemore, ArthurArthur Whittemore - - -
Wilkins, Herbert P.Herbert P. Wilkins - - -
Wilkins, RaymondRaymond Wilkins - - -
Wilkins, HerbertHerbert Wilkins - - -
Williams, HaroldHarold Williams - - -

Citation

The proper legal citation for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is "Mass. S.J.C".

References

  1. ^ Lowell, Delmar R., The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells of America from 1639 to 1899 (p 35); Rutland VT, The Tuttle Company, 1899; ISBN 9780788415678.

External links

Resources


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message