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Gov. Deval Patrick has nominated state appeals court judge Geraldine Hines to fill an upcoming vacancy on the state's highest court.
If confirmed, the 66-year-old Hines, who grew up in Mississippi, would be the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court.
"If I am confirmed," Hines said during a press conference Friday to announce her nomination, "I will labor with every fiber of my being to validate your trust in my ability to be a wise and fair judge."
Patrick made the announcement just two days after the council unanimously confirmed the elevation of associate SJC justice Ralph Grants to chief justice of the court. The current chief justice, Roderick Ireland, is retiring next month.
Hines has been an appeals court judge since last September. She previously served as a Superior Court judge for 11 years and prior to that was a Boston attorney for 30 years.
Patrick said Hines will bring "intelligence, grace and life experience," to the high court.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.