MA Names First Female Chief Justice

Justice Margaret Marshall was confirmed Wednesday as the new chief justice of Massachusetts’ highest court, the nation’s oldest appellate court. A native of South Africa, Marshall has a history of anti-apartheid and pro-choice activism. She is the former chief counsel at Harvard University.

Marshall nearly lost the appointment because of her pro-choice position. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese lobbied against Marshall, calling her “anti-Catholic.” The Archdiocese cited a complaint by a Harvard professor that Marshall “chastised” him for using university stationery for a personal note containing an anti-abortion message. Marshall also served on the board of an abortion-providing clinic from 1991-1995.


AP and Boston Herald - October 14, 1999

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