State briefs: Supreme Judicial Court to celebrate its first 325 years

Monday, January 15, 2018
Supreme Judicial Court to celebrate its first 325 years

SALEM — Members of the state Supreme Judicial Court are planning to gather in Salem to celebrate the court’s first 325 years.

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants and Justice David Lowy will speak at the morning event Wednesday at the Essex County Superior Court.

Robert Brink, executive director of the Supreme Judicial Court Historical Society, will also speak.

The court — originally called the Superior Court of Judicature — sat for the first time on Jan. 3, 1693. It is the state’s top court and the oldest appellate court in continuous existence in the Western Hemisphere.

After the adoption of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, the name of the court was changed to the Supreme Judicial Court. The seven-member court operates under the oldest, still functioning written constitution in the world.

Gas prices rise slightly to $2.51 a gallon

BOSTON — Gas prices have risen to an average $2.51 for a gallon of regular unleaded in the state.

AAA Northeast says its weekly survey of prices on Monday found an increase of three cents per gallon in the Bay State.

The price of gas in Massachusetts is two cents per gallon below the national average of $2.53.

But it’s 26 cents higher than at this time last year, when gas was averaging $2.25 in Massachusetts.

AAA’s Mary Maguire says crude oil prices are on the rise and pushing up prices at the pump.

Ceremony held at MLK’s alma mater

BOSTON — Boston University says its celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be shaped by concerns about President Donald Trump’s administration and its commitment to civil rights.

School officials say they will host several speakers at a Monday ceremony to discuss the increasing relevance of King’s message amid today’s politics.

King received a doctorate degree in systematic theology from Boston University in 1955 and later donated his papers to the school before his assassination in 1968.

Speakers at the ceremony will include poet Kamilah Aisha Moon and university President Robert A. Brown.

Moon said in an interview published by BU that educational institutions are “under direct threat” from the Trump administration and that King’s message is particularly important today.

Boston University is a private school that enrolls about 33,000 students.