Maura Healey at Massachusetts School of Law discussing Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

Attorney General Bureau Chief Maura Healey

Please listen to Ms. Healey discuss The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and her work on the case where she successfully argued the state’s challenge to the federal at the Massachusetts School of Law on November 26th. Presented by MSL’s Diversity Alliance and the Massachusetts School of Law.

Maura Healey, lead counsel in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, successfully argued the state’s challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston on April 4, 2012.

Ms. Healey also alleged that DOMA exceeds Congress’s authority under the Spending Clause because Congress does not have a valid reason for requiring Massachusetts to disregard same-sex marriages in its implementation of federally funded programs.

Maura is a tireless advocate whose passion to serve is an inspiration to us all as she continues to fight for equality in protecting the civil rights of all citizens. Long committed to public service, Healey served for five years as chief of the Civil Rights Division in the AG’s Office before assuming her current position as chief of the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau. Since joining the AG’s office in 2007, Healey has overseen investigation and prosecution of civil rights cases in areas such as mortgage lending, housing, education, public accommodation, health care, and hate crimes. Prior to joining the AG’s Office, Maura was an attorney at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr, LLP, where her practice focused on complex commercial litigation, securities litigation and government investigations.

She is a former Special Assistant District Attorney for Middlesex County, Massachusetts. She is co-chair of the BBA’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Section and a member of the BBA’s Legal Services Committee for Military Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families and the Board of Advisers for the American Constitution Society for Boston. Maura is a graduate of Harvard University (where she was co-captain of the women’s basketball team), and Northeastern University School of Law.

For more information about the background of the case, please feel free to read more here.

First Circuit Decision


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