Maura T. Healey (born February 8, 1971) is an American attorney, a member of the Democratic Party and the Attorney General of Massachusetts.

Born in New Hampshire, Healey graduated from Harvard College in 1992. She then spent two years playing professional basketball in Austria before returning to the United States and receiving a Juris Doctor degree from the Northeastern University School of Law, in 1998. After clerking for federal judge A. David Mazzone, she worked in private practice for seven years, also serving as a special assistant district attorney in Middlesex County.

Hired by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in 2007, Healey served as Chief of the Civil Rights Division, where she spearheaded the state's challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. She was then appointed Chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau and then Chief of the Business and Labor Bureau before resigning in 2013 to run for attorney general in the 2014 election as Coakley ran for Governor. She defeated former State Senator Warren Tolman in the Democratic primary and then defeated Republican attorney John Miller in the general election, thus becoming the first openly gay state attorney general elected in America.

 

 

Early life and education

Healey grew up as the oldest of five brothers and sisters. Her mother was a nurse at Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls, while her father was captain in the Navy and an engineer, and her stepfather, Edward Beattie, taught history and coached girls' sports at Winnacunnet high school. Her family roots are in Newburyport and the North Shore area.

Healey attended Winnacunnet High School and majored in government at Harvard College, graduating cum laude in 1992. She was co-captain of the Harvard basketball team.[4] After graduation, Healey spent two years playing as a starting point guard for a professional basketball team in Austria, UBBC Wustenrot Salzburg.[5] Upon returning to the United States, Healey obtained her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 1998.[6]

Healey began her legal career by clerking for Judge A. David Mazzone of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, where she prepared monthly compliance reports on the cleanup of the Boston Harbor and assisted the judge with trials, hearings and case conferences. Healey subsequently spent more than 7 years at the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where she worked as an associate and then junior partner. While at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Healey's focus was on commercial and securities litigation.[7]

She also served as a special assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, where she tried drug, assault, domestic violence and motor vehicle cases in bench and jury sessions and argued bail hearings, motions to suppress, and probation violations and surrenders.[7]

Hired by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in 2007, Healey served as Chief of the Civil Rights Division, where she spearheaded the state's challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. She led the winning arguments for Massachusetts in America's first lawsuit striking down the law.[8]

In 2012, she was promoted to Chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau.[9] She was then appointed Chief of the Business and Labor Bureau.[10]

As a division chief and bureau head in the Attorney General's Office, Healey oversaw 250 lawyers and staff members and supervised the areas of consumer protection, fair labor, ratepayer advocacy, environmental protection, health care, insurance and financial services, civil rights, antitrust, Medicaid fraud, not-for-profit organizations and charities, and business, technology and economic development.[7][10]

Massachusetts Attorney General

2014 election

In October 2013, Healey announced her intention to run for attorney general. Coakley was retiring from the office to run for Governor. On September 9, 2014, Healey won the Democratic primary by 126,420 votes, defeating former State Senator Warren Tolman by 62.4% to 37.6%[11]

Healey's campaign was endorsed by State Senators Stan Rosenberg, Dan Wolf, Jamie Eldridge and America's largest resource for pro-choice women in politics, EMILY's List.[12][4] Her campaign has also been endorsed by Northeast District Attorney David Sullivan, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong and Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz.[4][4] Organizations that have endorsed the campaign include, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, MassEquality and the Victory Fund.[4][4][4] Healey penned an OpEd in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette on upholding the Massachusetts buffer zone law, which she worked on while in the Attorney General's Office.[6] She also authored an OpEd in the Boston Globe outlining her plan to combat student loan predators.[4][4][4]

She faced Republican nominee John Miller, an attorney, in the general election, and defeated him by 62.5% to 37.5% and thus became the first openly gay state attorney general elected in America.[4][23]

Positions

Healey's plan to reduce gun violence seeks to address what she perceives as the root causes of violence. The plan includes enhancing the background check system to include information regarding recent restraining orders, pending indictments, any relations to domestic violence, parole and probation information. The plan also seeks to better track stolen and missing guns. Healey advocates for the incorporation of fingerprint trigger locks and firearm micro-stamping on all guns sold in Massachusetts.[24][25]

Healey's plan for criminal justice reform includes ending mandatory sentences for non-violent drug offenders and focusing on treatment rather than incarceration.[26]

Healey also plans to combat prescription drug abuse and the heroin epidemic in Massachusetts by implementing a "lock-in" program. The program will be carried out in pharmacies as a way to identify and track prescription drug abusers and/or distributors. Her plan also includes deployment of new resources to drug trafficking hotspots, improvement of treatment accessibility and expanding access to Narcan.[27]

Abortion

Healey's women's rights platform focuses on sex education, expanding access to abortion services in Massachusetts and ensuring that every woman in Massachusetts has access to abortion regardless of where she lives, her occupation or her income.[28]

Gun control

On July 20, 2016, Healey announced her intention to ban the sale or transfer of most semi-automatic rifles inside the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.[29]

President Trump

On January 31, 2017, Healey announced that her office was joining a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order 13769, [30][31] commonly known as a "Muslim ban." [32] [34] Healey condemned the order as being “motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment and Islamophobia, not by a desire to further national security." [30] The order was eventually struck down in federal court on similar grounds.[36]

On March 9, 2017, Healey announced that her office was joining a lawsuit challenging President Trump's Executive Order 13780.[37][38] Healey stated that the new order, a revised version of the one that had previously been struck down, "remains a discriminatory and unconstitutional attempt to make good on [Trump's] campaign promise to implement a Muslim ban." [37] The order has since been blocked in various federal courts on similar grounds.[38][39]

On March 11, 2017, following President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, Healey led efforts calling for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Her office sent a letter to that effect, signed by twenty Attorneys General from across the nation, to Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.[40] On March 17, Rosenstein appointed a special counsel, choosing former FBI director Robert Mueller for the post.[41]

Personal life

Healey is openly gay, and lives in Charlestown, Massachusetts with her partner, Gabrielle Wolohojian.[7][42]

She continues to play basketball recreationally.[43][44][45][46]

Electoral history

Massachusetts Attorney General Democratic Primary Election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticMaura Healey322,38062.1
DemocraticWarren Tolman195,65437.7
Democraticwrite-ins7210.1
Massachusetts Attorney General Election, 2014
PartyCandidatesVotes%
DemocraticMaura Healey1,280,51361.7
RepublicanJohn Miller793,82138.2
Write-insWrite-ins1,8850.1