Document Type

Symposium Article


The unexpected passing of Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants was a shock to the legal community in Massachusetts and beyond. “The Chief” greatly influenced all aspects of the legal system, and devoted his life to the problems facing the administration of justice. He sought zealously to address obstacles and inadequacies in both the criminal and civil justice systems. This Article provides a perspective into the scope of his work and his philosophy through the lens of access to justice. It reviews Chief Justice Gants’s work during the last decade, with an emphasis on housing law and eviction as a case study. Chief Justice Gants labeled the looming crisis in evictions and displacement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the greatest access to justice challenge of our lifetime.” As such, to honor the Chief’s legacy and lifelong contributions, we must embrace the task of carrying on his work.