Barbara Lenk

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Barbara Lenk
Court Information:
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Title:   Justice
Salary:  $161,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Deval Patrick
Active:   2011-2020
Preceded by:   Judith Cowin
Past post:   Judge, Massachusetts Appeals Court
Past term:   1995-2011
Past post 2:   Judge, Massachusetts Superior Courts
Past term 2:   1993-1995
Personal History
Born:   12/2/1950
Undergraduate:   Fordham University, 1972
Law School:   Harvard Law School, 1979
Grad. School:   Yale University, 1978

Barbara A. Lenk is a justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She was appointed to this position by Governor Deval Patrick in April 2011. Her term will expire when she hits the mandatory retirement age in 2020.[1][2]

Supreme Court nomination

On April 4, 2011 Governor Patrick nominated Lenk for a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She was confirmed by the Governor's Council on May 4, 2011.[3]

Lenk is the first openly gay justice on the court. Lenk says that her nomination "shows that my story is the American story, where anything is possible."[4]


Lenk received a B.A. from Fordham University in 1972 and a Ph.D. in political philosophy from Yale University in 1978. She went on to receive her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1979.[1]


Political outlook

See also: Political outlook of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Lenk received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.85, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.44 that justices received in Massachusetts. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[5]

See also

External links


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