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Margaret Marshall to Receive 2021 Bolch Prize

Margaret Marshall to Receive 2021 Bolch Prize

The Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law School has announced that Margaret H. Marshall of Choate will receive the 2021 Bolch Prize for the Rule of Law. Marshall served as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1999 to 2010, the first woman to hold that position.

Before retiring as chief justice in 2010, Marshall wrote hundreds of opinions, including the groundbreaking 2003 decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which held that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits the state from denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage. The opinion made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage and laid the groundwork for a sea change in attitudes and law across the United States.

“Chief Justice Marshall is an extraordinary example of someone who has quietly and persistently worked to uphold the rule of law,” said David F. Levi, ALI president and director of the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law School. “Having witnessed and fought against the devastating injustices of apartheid, she has a deep sense of the ways in which the law can be used either to undermine or to protect equal treatment. She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the law in substance and administration promotes justice for all. Her example on and off the bench has inspired judges and lawyers in this country and in South Africa.” 

The Susan and Carl Bolch Jr. Prize for the Rule of Law is awarded annually by the Bolch Judicial Institute of Duke Law School to an individual or organization who has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the rule of law and advancing rule of law principles around the world. 

Marshall will be honored during a prize ceremony program to be broadcast online in June. Details about the program will be available later this spring.

Read more about Marshall’s legacy and the Bolch Prize here.

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