Maura Healey: Our New Attorney General
At a dignified and classy ceremony at historic Faneuil Hall last evening, Maura Healey took the oath of office as the 55th Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The oath was administered by Ralph Gants, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who was joined on stage by Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert Deleo, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Master of Ceremonies Mo Cowan. The hall was packed to capacity with Healey supporters, attorneys and employees of the Attorney General’s Office, and many public figures including State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, former Governor Bill Weld, former Senate President Tom Birmingham, and (as of last night) former Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Throughout the election campaign, Healey described the Attorney General as “the people’s lawyer” and with hundreds of Assistant Attorney Generals in the crowd last night, she took to calling the office “the people’s law firm.” A theme that ran throughout her speech was that the mission of the Attorney General’s office is “to secure the promise of Massachusetts for every resident of the Commonwealth.”
Healey vowed to take on the tragedy of opioid and heroin addiction along with gun violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault (particularly on college campuses) and emphasized her determination to hold for-profit-colleges and the gaming industry accountable and compliant with the letter of the law. The substance of Healey’s speech was wonderfully captured in this story in today’s Globe by Stephanie Ebbert.
Having begun her remarks with some observations about the historic debates that had taken place within Faneuil Hall, Healey went on to observe that Faneuil Hall is also where new lawyers come to take the oath as members of the bar and newcomers to America come to take the oath as citizens. “This is where we become Americans,” she said.
While Healey is seen as a rising star within the ranks of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, her record as a lawyer, both in private practice and as an assistant Attorney General, has been to put the law above politics. I believe that is exactly what she will do as our new Attorney General and if she does that, the politics will take care of itself and, more importantly, we will all have a better Commonwealth to live in.