Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on
Monday nominated Barbara Lenk, an openly gay appellate judge, to the
state's Supreme Judicial Court, the Boston Globe reported.
The 60-year-old Lenk would be the first
openly gay justice to serve on the court.
“She is a brilliant and thoughtful
justice with a deep sense of justice,” Patrick said in a statement
announcing his choice.
If confirmed, Lenk would also make
history as the first justice able to marry her spouse as a result of
the court's groundbreaking 2003 ruling that brought gay marriage to
Massachusetts in 2004, making it the first state in the nation to do so.
Former Governor William Weld appointed
Lenk to the Superior Court in 1993. Two years later, Weld appointed
her to the Appeals Court.
A native of New York, Lenk holds a
doctorate in political philosophy from Yale University and received
her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1979.
Lenk would succeed retiring Associate
Justice Judith A. Cowin, whose last day on the court is Tuesday,