Maura Healey: The People’s Lawyer

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Maura Healey’s role as a pillar in the anti-Trump revolution that began after the president came into office only draws greater attention to her already outstanding reputation as a progressive. She leads in combating regressive policies that threaten the rights and values many Americans hold dear. Healey did her part to fight discriminatory policies since before she became Massachusetts’s attorney general in 2014. As chief of the Civil Rights Division in former Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office, she led Massachusetts’s fight against the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman. Healey is America’s first openly gay attorney general, and has made LGBT rights one of her priorities while in office. She has also taken a firm stance in defense of immigration, women’s rights, and gun control, and aggressively pushes progressive policies on both local and national issues. Before becoming a politician, Healey graduated from Harvard University and Northeastern University School of Law and went on to work for the firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, working in the private sector for much of her early career. She later went on to work for Attorney General Coakley and then assumed the position herself, allowing her to realize her potential as a fearless crusader for civil liberties. Above all, Healey advocates for the rights of the people and does so by refusing to uphold discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation.

 
Not only is Healey brilliant in policy, but she has made waves for both women and members of the LGBT community because of what she has accomplished as the first openly gay attorney general in the country. Her election in 2014 was a sweeping victory as she received more than 62 percent of the vote over Republican John Miller. It was called by the executive director of the Barbara Lee Foundation, an organization which studies the campaigns of female politicians, “a race against the old boys club in a lot of ways.”1 Healey succeeded with flying colors in defeating the “old boys club,” and she continues to let nothing hold her back as she stokes the fire of political change.

 
At the recent Boston Women’s March, which served not only as a protest against the many fear-inducing promises Trump made during his campaign but also as an affirmation of civil rights, Maura Healey delivered a statement to the Trump administration. “We’ll see you in court,” she said. She promised to fight any Trump policies that infringe upon civil rights, and has kept that promise. Healey was one of the quickest to counteract Trump’s travel ban, which was signed on January 27, suing the federal government on January 31. She also joined a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that condemned Trump’s executive order as a “religious test.”2 She has become one of many attorneys general who have made it their business to stop the Trump administration’s reactionary policies at all junctures. Healey, however, does not find a great deal of pleasure in grappling with the federal government. Instead, she feels it is her duty to protect people’s rights by doing so.3 She is not one to sit back and watch, quietly, like a proper lady. Healey is loud in every way when it comes to fighting for what she believes is just.

 
Healey receives much praise from fellow politicians, with Senator Elizabeth Warren making an especially complimentary statement about her. “Powerful interests who think they can push her around still haven’t learned their lesson,” Warren said. “Maura isn’t just Massachusetts’s lawyer, she’s the people’s lawyer — and she is not afraid of anyone.”4 Warren’s statement encompasses what Healey is all about; she will fight fearlessly for the rights of people who have no one else to speak for them, and she won’t be pushed around. Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has said that the people of Massachusetts are “lucky” to have Healey because of her vehement support of gun control. And Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, said she is not a person who is “gun shy” when it comes to fighting for her political agenda.5 Due to her efforts, she has also, of course, gained a few enemies. Surely ExxonMobil, whom Healey launched a fraud investigation against, and the National Rifle Association, who sued Healey because of her motion to enforce an assault rifle ban, are not her biggest fans. These entities represent the patriarchal values that pervade American society and government. However, Healey takes criticism in stride, knowing that opposition is merely a byproduct of being a politician who is actively combating the current presidential administration and general corporate malfeasance.

 
Healey is paving the way for a future of inclusive and diverse government and a more tolerant society. She is a role model for girls and women who wish to make an impact in the world and an advocate for women to get involved in politics. She has vowed to eliminate policy that will take America backwards and replace it with laws that protect women and minorities. Her assertiveness and passion as an attorney general who is herself part of two underrepresented communities makes it easier for future generations to follow in her footsteps. In a recent statement, Hillary Clinton said that “the future is female,” and it is strong, passionate women like Maura Healey who make it seem possible that such a bold statement is indeed true.

  1. Abigail Tracy,. “The Threat Trump Never Saw Coming,” Vanity Fair, February 13, 2017.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.

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