Ralph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65
© Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

The chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has died at 65, his colleagues announced on Monday.

"It is with deep sadness that the Associate Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court announce the death of Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants. Our hearts and prayers are with his family. We have no further information at this time," the court's associate justices said, according to a Boston NBC affiliate.

The justices did not offer details on the cause of Gant's death. Earlier this month, he announced he had had two stents inserted after a heart attack, but said that he expected to resume his full duties. Gants was appointed to the state’s top appellate court in January 2009 by then-Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court sides with oil companies in Baltimore case| White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear, carbon capture projects | Biden administration to develop performance standards for federal buildings Approving Kristen Clarke's nomination should be a no-brainer To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate MORE (D). In 2014, Patrick swore him in as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s 37th chief justice.

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A graduate of Harvard Law School and former assistant U.S. attorney in Massachusetts, Gants was appointed to the state's Superior Court by then-Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldThe Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Ralph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads MORE (R) in 1997.

Gants and Justice Barbara Lenk were the only justices on the seven-justice Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court not appointed by current Gov. Charles Baker (R). Lenk will retire in December when she turns 70, the mandatory retirement age for justices. Another justice will not reach the mandatory retirement age until 2029.  

--Updated on Sept. 16 at 11:20 a.m.