Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, elected to her second term in 2018, is a fearless people’s lawyer fighting for justice, equal rights, and progressive values. Bringing her experience as having been both a criminal prosecutor and a civil rights attorney, General Healey is a champion for the underserved and is committed to reducing gun violence, combating the opioid epidemic, fighting climate change, and protecting students and workers of Massachusetts from financial predation. She has led a dozen of multistate lawsuits challenging Trump’s agenda since 2017; out of the 44 multistate federal lawsuits she has filed or joined, she’s been on the winning side 15 times. She is the nation’s first openly gay Attorney General.
General Healey’s major actions (and wins) in:
- REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE
In the wake of mass shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino, General Healey took swift action in 2016 to close a loophole in Massachusetts’ assault weapons ban that allowed gun manufacturers to sell copycat firearms that were deceitfully claimed to be state-compliant. Gun lobbyists sued the state in response, but General Healey secured a major victory for families when a federal appeals court in 2019 upheld her interpretation of the ban, stating that assault weapons and large-capacity magazines go beyond the reach of the right to bear arms. In 2018, General Healey announced plans to partner with Sandy Hook Promise to bring gun violence prevention programs into Massachusetts public schools at no-cost, which would train 140,000 students across the state in suicide prevention and mental health.
- COMBATING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
Over 400,000 people have died since 1999 from opioid overdose across the country. The crisis is particularly acute in Massachusetts, where opioid-related death rate is more than twice the national average. General Healey believes that protecting access to affordable healthcare is a key weapon in winning the fight against opioid addiction. In 2019, she and fellow Democratic woman attorney general, Letitia James of New York, successfully blocked the Department of Labor’s rule that would have permitted business associations to offer limited coverage plans without protections for consumers of the Affordable Care Act. Despite the win, the fight to protect the ACA is not over for General Healey. She joined the coalition of 21 other state attorneys general in defending the ACA and the millions of Americans benefiting from affordable healthcare in the ongoing legal battle of Texas v. U.S.
In 2018, she led Massachusetts to become the first state to bring a lawsuit against not only Purdue Pharma (maker of Oxycontin), but also the executives and owners of the corporation—the Sackler Family—to hold them personally accountable in helping to engineer the epidemic in pursuit of higher company profit. A total of 48 states and the District of Columbia have joined the litigation.
- SAFEGUARDING THE PLANET
General Healey has called for an aggressive transition to clean energy in Massachusetts, setting a new goal for the state to meet 100% of its energy needs with renewable power by 2050, and 50% by 2030. She has been a national leader in challenging the EPA’s rollback of environmental regulations under Trump by taking a total of 115 legal actions against the administration. Most recently, in July 2019, she filed a multistate lawsuit against the EPA’s failure to monitor and regulate the chemical industry’s use of asbestos, a toxic substance that poses serious health and environmental risks.
She is currently investigating Exxon Mobil’s conduct toward investors and consumers and whether it concealed critical information about the profound impact of fossil fuel burning on global warming. In 2019, she won the legal fight in which the US Supreme Court gave the green light to continue the probe into Exxon’s documents to answer how the Texas-based oil giant covered up the threat of climate change to its investors and the public.
- SECURING RELIEF FOR DEFRAUDED STUDENTS
General Healey led a coalition of states to sue the Department of Education over its abrupt cancellation of the Borrower Defense Rule, an Obama-era federal rule designed to protect student borrowers who have been defrauded by predatory, for-profit colleges by having their federal loans forgiven. The court sided with the states and allowed for an immediate implementation of the rule for students nationwide. In 2019, General Healey secured more than $11 million in debt relief for nearly 3,000 students in Massachusetts from the for-profit education company Career Education Corporation, which has been accused of misrepresenting information to students about its total costs, job placement rates, and transferability of credits.
- PROTECTING WORKERS FROM WAGE THEFT
In 2018, the Massachusetts Fair Labor Division under General Healey’s leadership assessed nearly $10 million in restitution and penalties against employers that were cheating workers of their fair pay. Most notably, her team led the investigation into E.J. Paving Company and helped recover $170,000 in wage theft committed against its employees working overtime. General Healey is also focused on challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of labor protections on a national scale. She challenged “no poach” clauses present in 80% of fast food franchise agreements, which severely limits work opportunities and the earning potential of low-income workers by preventing them to be hired in other stores of the same chain.
General Healey in the press:
- Profile in the Commonwealth Magazine: Healey vs. Trump. 6/13/2019.
- Interview with The Takeaway: Massachusetts Attorney General Challenges Trump’s Agenda. 4/6/2017.
- Politico Playbook Power List: Maura Healey. 2017.
- Op-Ed in the Boston Globe: The loophole in the Mass. Assault weapons ban. 7/20/2016.