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Mass Gov Nominates Her Former Girlfriend to High Court – HotAir

When Maura Healey was elected as the Governor of Massachusetts in 2022 she was hailed as one of our “historic” political figures, being the first openly gay woman to hold the office and the first woman of any sort. Normally, I have zero interest in who elected officials sleep with (unless they are having illicit affairs), but her history as a lesbian is back in the news this week for a different reason. For twelve years, Healey was in a romantic relationship with Gabrielle R. Wolohojian, a state appellate judge. Now, Healey has nominated Wolohojian for a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Is this appropriate? (Boston Globe)

Governor Maura Healey on Wednesday nominated Gabrielle R. Wolohojian, a state appellate judge and the governor’s former longtime romantic partner, to an open seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, turning to a deeply experienced jurist with whom she shares a long personal history.

Wolohojian, a judicial appointee of former governor Deval Patrick, has served 16 years on the state Appeals Court, where Healey administration officials said she has authored 900 decisions and presided over roughly 2,700 cases.

Her selection drew praise from within the legal community, where she was described as a seasoned judge acutely attuned to making the state courts more accessible to the public. Legal observers also acknowledged her nomination is unusual, given there’s little, if any, precedent of a recent governor turning to a former romantic partner for such a high-profile court post.

I had to do a bit of research on this because I wasn’t previously familiar with Wolohojian. There doesn’t seem to be any question that she has the basic qualifications to sit on the high court. She has a law degree from Cornell, worked as a partner at a prestigious law firm, clerked for a judge on a US District Court, and has served as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court since 2008. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly controversial about her.

But the fact is that she was openly in a romantic relationship with Healey for a dozen years. Executive officials are typically averse to appointing their former lovers to high office because of the horrid political optics. If a male politician appoints a young woman he’s been sleeping with to a powerful and well-paying position it’s generally looked upon as a scandal. (For the record, Wolohojian is actually ten years older than Healey.) 

Yet the media in the Bay State appears to be celebrating this appointment because of the “historic” nature of seeing another LGBTQ person rising up in the ranks. Why should Healey get a pass on this simply because she prefers the romantic company of women over men? Surely there were dozens of other justices with the same or even superior qualifications that could have taken the seat. But we’re all apparently supposed to “celebrate” Healey’s choice based on nothing more than her LGBTQ status?

Shortly after taking office, Joe Biden appointed Joe Manchin’s wife to be the co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. That was considered something of a scandal and Biden had never even been in a relationship with Gayle Manchin. (She’s held numerous, lucrative political positions over the years, though none were direct appointments by her husband.) Manchin was viewed as a critical piece of the puzzle in holding the Democrats’ slender majority in the Senate. 

There are plenty of other examples of dubious appointments in the history of American politics. But apparently, if you are a member of a politically preferred and favored demographic on the left, such as being LGBTQ, you get a free pass in the media. Personally, I bear no ill will toward Gabrielle R. Wolohojian and she’ll probably do a fine job on the court. But it’s just informative in terms of modern leftist politics to see Healey being celebrated for something that most straight, male politicians would be condemned for. 

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