Massachusetts governor Maura Healey nominates former romantic partner to state’s highest court
Gov. Maura Shealey nominated Gabrielle Wolohojian to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, her former lover of many years.
Healey’s Administration says Wolohojian, who has served on the court of appeals since 2008, has heard over 2,700 cases and authored more than 900 rulings.
Healey stated in a press release that didn’t mention their prior relationship, “There is no other person more qualified or prepared to serve as a member of the Supreme Judicial Court then Justice Wolohojian.” She has a deep understanding of the law, and is committed to administering justice.
Healey said, “There has been a huge response.”
Healey said that Wolohojian was “widely respected by her peers.” Geraldine Hines, retired SJC justice, said in a press release that Wolohojian is “uniquely qualified” to join the Supreme Judicial Court during a period when the court enjoys and commits to maintaining its reputation of being one of the nation’s most respected state supreme judiciaries.
State House News Service reports that Healey and Wolohojian live together in Charlestown. Their relationship was first made public in 2013, when Healey ran for attorney general. In a Boston Magazine article published in 2015, the two were said to have been together since 2008 after they met at a Boston-based law firm.
The News Service reported that they had no longer lived together when Healey became governor in 2022. Healey lives in Arlington, Virginia with her new partner Joanna Lydgate.
The Massachusetts Republican Party has criticized Healey’s choice.
Amy Carnevale, MassGOP chairwoman, said that it was “highly inappropriate” for the Governor of Massachusetts to nominate someone to the highest court in Massachusetts with whom she has had a romantic relationship. This nomination demonstrates the lack of accountability that comes with one-party rule.
Healey responded to reporters’ questions Wednesday about the nominee she chose by saying that Wolohojian was unanimously supported by the Judicial Nomination Commission. She also said she was “proud of” the choice.
Healey stated, “Of Course, I had a relationship with Judge Wolohojian over many years. I also happen to know about her character and integrity, as well as the type of person she really is.” “I do not want her personal relationship with myself to prevent the Commonwealth from having a qualified candidate for the job.”
Wolohojian, if confirmed by the Governor’s Council will fill the seat left vacant by retired Justice David Lowy this month. Healey is nominating her second candidate to the high courts.
Terrence Kennedy, an attorney on the panel, said: “Our job isn’t to decide this case on the basis of personal relationships.” “Our job is deciding whether this nominee is qualified.”
The confirmation hearing will be held on February 21.