Patrick’s Pick For High Court Gets Hearing Wednesday

The Massachusetts Governor’s Council tomorrow on Wednesday will get a chance to question Deval Patrick’s latest pick for the highest court in the state.

Geraldine Hines would become the first African American woman to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court if she’s confirmed by the council. And that’s a near certainty, as its members confirmed her unanimously last year for a seat of the Appeals Court.

“It is a very significant moment in Massachusetts, very significant moment for the African American community and people of all colors as we move this state forward,” says Councillor Mike Albano of Longmeadow.

Hines was born in Scott, Mississippi, and grew up in the segregated South. Prior to her work on the Appeals Court, she served for more than a decade on the Superior Court.

In some judicial musical chairs, Hines would take an associate justice seat left vacant by Ralph Gants, who will ascend to chief justice when Roderick Ireland’s retirement takes effect later this month.

State House News Service contributed to this report.