Geraldine Hines Set To Become First African American Woman On Mass. High Court

Geraldine Hines will likely become the first African American woman to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The state’s Governor’s Council is expected to confirm Hines at a hearing Wednesday.

It was only 18 months ago that the Governor’s Council voted unanimously to confirm Hines to a seat on the Appeals Court. At a hearing last week, all eight councilors said they would again support her.

Hines is not a Massachusetts native. She grew up in Scott, Mississippi – which she recalled during the hearing

“I am here now because of a mother who prayed without ceasing, and who saw beyond the evil of Jim Crow, which surrounded us in our small town on the Mississippi River,” Hines said.

Hines is 66 years old, so she would serve on the Supreme Judicial Court less than four years before she reaches the mandatory retirement age. She fills an associate justice seat most recently held by Ralph Gants, who will become the new chief justice.

The State House News Service contributed to this report.

Correction: Due to a typo, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Hines would become the first African American to serve on the SJC.  It should have said that Hines will become the first African American woman on the court.