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Constitutional Revision Study Documents of the Constitutional Convention Commission, 1968
Volume 138, Page 196   View pdf image (33K)
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tice of the Superior Court
selects the substitutes, (ch.
212, sec. 14B [1957]) ;
F. to appoint and dismiss at his
discretion his administrative
assistant and executive clerk,
both of which are statutory
offices — the former created in
1963 (ch. 212, sec. 28 [1966
cum. supp.]) ;
G. to receive a detailed monthly
statement of each instance of
bail (ch. 276, sec. 61 [1957]) ;
H. to act as chairman of the
probation committee (ch. 276,
sec. 99 A [1966 cum. supp.]) ;
I. to act as a member of the
judicial council which studies
the judiciary (ch. 221, sec. 34 A
The Superior Court consists of the
chief justice and forty-one associate
justices (ch. 212, sec. 1 [1966 cum.
supp.]), all nominated and appointed
by the governor with his council's con-
sent (Const., Art. IX, Sec. 65). When
the chief judgeship becomes vacant, the
senior associate judge assumes its duties
(ch. 213, sec. 1). There are no residence
requirements of county or district and,
therefore, the new chief judge does not
forfeit his former judgeship.1
Chief Justice G. Joseph Tauro de-
scribed the work of the Superior Court
as follows:2
For a vigorous statement of the current
administrative difficulties and methods by
the present Chief Justice, the Hon. G. Joseph
Tauro, see 49 Mass. L. Q. 7, 171 (1964).
2 Letter from G. Joseph Tauro, Chief Jus-
tice, Superior Court of Massachusetts, to
John C. Brooks, Executive Director, Con-
stitutional Convention Commission of Mary-
land, August 4, 1966.

"The Superior Court was created
by statute approximately 110 years
ago, having statewide general juris-
diction in the trial of law, equity, and
criminal cases. It now has 41 Asso-
ciate Justices and one Chief Justice.
In addition to general administrative
duties, the Chief Justice, under statu-
tory authority, sets up the necessary
sittings of the Court throughout the
Commonwealth and assigns Judges to
their respective sessions.
"The Administrative Assistant to
the Chief Justice performs the minis-
terial work, handles much of the
routine correspondence, and conducts
many interviews with lawyers and lay
persons desirous of obtaining informa-
tion and assistance.
"All judicial appointments in Mas-
sachusetts are for life. They are made
by the Governor, with the advice and
consent of the Governor's Council.
Before the Governor makes a judicial
appointment, he submits the names
of candidates to a committee of the
organized bar for its evaluation as to
qualifications. Although the Gover-
nor is under no legal compulsion to
follow the bar association's advice in
this regard, except in rare instances
he does not make an appointment
unless the lawyer is approved by the
bar association committee.
"As a member and presently First
Vice-Chairman of the National Con-
ference on Metropolitan Courts, I
have had the opportunity to talk with
other Judges and Chief Judges in the
various jurisdictions. It is my belief
that continuity in the office of Chief
Justice is preferable, especially in the
implementation and carrying out of
specific programs. This seems to be
the opinion of many others with


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Constitutional Revision Study Documents of the Constitutional Convention Commission, 1968
Volume 138, Page 196   View pdf image (33K)
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