1st African American woman on state supreme court retires

The first African-American woman to serve on Massachusetts' highest court is retiring.

Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine Hines served her last day on the seven-member body on Friday. She's been a judge in Massachusetts for 16 years, three of which were on the Supreme Judicial Court.

Hines was the first African-American woman to serve on the state Appeals Court and later on the state Supreme Judicial Court. She was appointed to both courts by former Democratic Governor Deval Patrick.

Hines retires just shy of her 70th birthday, which is the mandatory retirement age for state judges. She plans to travel and dedicate herself to social justice causes.

Hines will be succeeded by state Appeals Court Chief Justice Scott Kafker, who was unanimously confirmed by the Governor's Council last month.