BOSTON (AP) -- A hearing is set for Gov. Deval Patrick's nominee to lead the state's highest court.
Ralph Gants, currently an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, is scheduled to appear on Wednesday before the Governor's Council, an eight-member elected body that reviews judicial nominations.
Patrick has tapped Gants to be the next chief justice of the SJC. If confirmed, he would succeed Roderick Ireland, who plans to retire in July after serving as chief justice since 2010.
A one-time federal prosecutor, Gants was appointed to the Superior Court by then-Republican Gov. William Weld in 1997, and was appointed by Patrick to the high court in 2009.
His nomination as chief justice won praise from the Massachusetts Bar Association.
The council could vote on his confirmation later this month.