Support the news

Confirmation Hearing Begins For High Court's Ireland

Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Roderick Ireland, right, faces reporters as Gov. Deval Patrick, left, looks on during a news conference on Nov. 4. (AP)
Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Roderick Ireland, right, faces reporters as Gov. Deval Patrick, left, looks on during a news conference on Nov. 4. (AP)

A confirmation hearing gets underway Wednesday on Beacon Hill for Gov. Deval Patrick's pick to head the Supreme Judicial Court.

At a news conference early last month in which Patrick announced his nomination, Associate Justice Roderick Ireland succinctly outlined his judicial philosophy.

"Call 'em as you see 'em," Ireland said. "Be fair. And let the law dictate where you go."

Through his confirmation hearing, Ireland can expect more questions about his judicial philosophy from the eight members of the Governor's Council. He can also expect to be asked about the patronage scandal at the state Probation Department, as several members of the council have indicated they plan to raise the topic.

Former Chief Justice Herbert Wilkins is among 10 people scheduled to testify on Ireland's behalf. He says Ireland is a great choice.

"His personality is tuned to the job because he cares about people and he listens and he has a full understanding of the operations of the court," Wilkins said.

Ireland has served as an associate justice on the SJC since 1998. If confirmed, he would replace retiring Chief Justice Margaret Marshall and be the court's first African-American chief justice. The governor would also have to make another high court nomination to fill Ireland's current position.

Earlier:

This program aired on December 1, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Steve Brown Twitter Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's State House reporter.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news