In Memoriam: The Honorable Ralph D. Gants

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Cambridge, MAThe Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession was extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the Honorable Ralph D. Gants, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Throughout his more than 40-year career, Chief Justice Gants embodied the highest ideals of the legal profession, never wavering from his commitment to pursue equal justice under law. Like all those whom the Chief Justice interactive with, the Center was keenly fortunate to benefit from his insights and wisdom, most recently during an April 2020 webinar discussion on online courts and the future of justice. The Center thanks and honors Chief Justice Gants for his service to the people of Massachusetts, to the legal profession that he adored, and for teaching all of us what it means to be a thoughtful, wise judge.

On learning of Chief Justice Gants’ passing, Professor David B. Wilkins, the Center’s faculty director said, “Chief Justice Gants was a towering figure in the legal profession, and a treasured mentor and friend since our days as students at Harvard Law School. The Chief Justice strove to ensure that the justice system that he devoted his life to was always accessible and fair to the least fortunate among us. We are all, as individuals and as members of our respective communities, better off due to Ralph Grants’ lifelong commitment to the administration of law and to making real those wise restraints that make us free. My thoughts are with the Chief Justice’s wife, and my dear friend and fellow Harvard Law School classmate, Deborah Ramirez, their amazing children Michael and Rachel, and the entire Gants family.”

Chief Justice Grants’ intellect, passion, and kindness of spirit will be missed by all. We at the Center on the Legal Profession are grateful to have experienced his friendship, wisdom, and inspiration.


Download the statement here.