Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Nominates 3 to Fill Seats on State's Highest Court

He announced the selections of Kimberly Budd, Frank Gaziano and David Lowy on Wednesday

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has nominated three Superior Court judges to fill upcoming vacancies on the state's highest court.

Baker on Tuesday announced the selections of Kimberly Budd, Frank Gaziano and David Lowy to the seven-member Supreme Judicial Court.

If confirmed by the Governor's Council, the nominees would replace Associate Justices Fernande Duffly, Francis Spina and Robert Cordy, who have announced plans to retire from the Supreme Judicial Court by the end of the summer.

Baker called the nominees distinguished and well-respected judges who have handled some of the state's most complicated criminal and civil cases.

The three retirements from the Supreme Judicial Court, all announced within a matter of days earlier in the year, give the first-term governor an unusual opportunity to put his stamp on the high court. Baker formed a special judicial nominating panel to help vet candidates to fill the vacancies.

Baker, a moderate Republican, declared earlier he had no "litmus test" for nominees and would seek jurists with the proper temperament, intellect and legal skills for the job.

Budd, the daughter of former U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Wayne Budd, was named to the Superior Court in 2009 by Democratic then-Gov. Deval Patrick. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, she had previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney.

Gaziano was appointed to the Superior Court by former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in 2004. The Suffolk University Law School graduate previously served as a state and federal prosecutor.

Lowy recently presided over the murder trial of Phillip Chism, a teenager convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the killing of his math teacher at Danvers High School.

Lowy, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Boston University Law School, was first appointed to the state's district court and elevated to the Superior Court by Republican then-Gov. Paul Cellucci in 2001.

All three jurists are under the age of 60. The mandatory retirement age for judges in Massachusetts is 70.

The eight-member Governor's Council, which must approve all judicial appointments, will hold hearings before voting on the nominations.

The Supreme Judicial Court, founded in 1692, is considered the oldest continuously sitting appellate court in the Western Hemisphere.

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