Mass. Court Won't Use 'Grandfathering,' Citing 'Racist Origins'

By Chris Villani (August 3, 2020, 6:25 PM EDT) -- The Massachusetts Appeals Court said in an opinion over a zoning dispute Monday that it would not use the term "grandfathering" due to its "racist origins" in laws that prevented Black people from voting after the Civil War.

A three-judge panel on the state's second highest court used a lengthy footnote to explain why it would not use the word, which has appeared in fewer than 1% of all Massachusetts case documents, according to Harvard Law School's Case Law Access Project.

Associate Justice James R. Milkey wrote in the opinion that the relevant statute in the case "provides a certain level...

Stay ahead of the curve

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.


  • Access to case data within articles (numbers, filings, courts, nature of suit, and more.)
  • Access to attached documents such as briefs, petitions, complaints, decisions, motions, etc.
  • Create custom alerts for specific article and case topics and so much more!

TRY LAW360 FREE FOR SEVEN DAYS

Attached Documents

Related Sections

Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Ask a question!