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Mass. SJC Chief Justice Gants suffers heart attack, expects to resume ‘full duties’

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/file

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants suffered a heart attack last week, he confirmed Tuesday in a statement.

“I suffered a heart attack on Friday, September 4,” Gants said in the statement released by the Mass. Trial Court. "I was admitted to the hospital where surgeons inserted 2 stents in the occluded artery, and I expect to be discharged soon. I also expect that I will be able to resume full duties, albeit initially on a limited basis.”

A spokeswoman for the state court system said via e-mail Tuesday that Gants’s health condition will have “no effect on the SJC calendar,” when asked if the calendar could be affected.


Gants, 66, was appointed to the SJC in January 2009 and sworn in as chief justice in July 2014. Prior to joining the SJC, Gants had served more than 11 years as a Superior Court judge, according to his biography on the official state website.

Born in New Rochelle, N.Y., Gants was previously a federal prosecutor in Massachusetts and later entered private practice at the firm formerly known as Palmer & Dodge LLP, the bio says.

“Among his awards and honors are the 2017 Massachusetts Bar Foundation Great Friend of Justice Award, the 2016 Haskell Cohn Award for Distinguished Judicial Service, the Boston Bar Association Citation of Judicial Excellence, and the Suffolk Law School Public Service Award,” the biography says. “He was also awarded honorary Doctor of Law degrees from New England Law | Boston in 2015, and the University of Massachusetts School of Law — Dartmouth in 2016. Chief Justice Gants is married with two children.”

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