In the mid-19th century, when the United States was confronted with daunting changes wrought by its expanding frontiers and the advent of the industrial revolution, its state supreme courts developed the principles of law which facilitated the nation's growth into the great continental power it became. First in influence among these state supreme courts was the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts-whose chief justice, Lemuel Shaw, came widely to be known as "America's greatest magistrate." It is this tradition that the court brings with it as it develops its place in the "new constitutional revolution" presently sweeping our state supreme courts. It is a tradition fraught with potential for great service to the commonwealth and to the nation as the Supreme Judicial Court enters its fourth century.
Charles H. Baron. "The Supreme Judicial Court in its Fourth Century: Meeting the Challenge of the "New Constitutional Revolution"." Massachusetts Law Review 77, (1992): 35-43.