Massachusetts Governor Taps Former Romantic Partner For Seat On State’s Highest Court
Boston, MA - December 19: Governor Maura Healey at the Annual DCF Holiday Gift Drive.
Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Massachusetts Democratic Governor Maura Healey tapped a woman she was romantically involved with for multiple years to serve on the state’s Supreme Judicial Court.

On Wednesday, Healey officially nominated Massachusetts Appeals Court Associate Justice Gabrielle Wolohojian, who has served on the appeals court since 2008, CBS News reported. The two had previously shared a home and first went public with their relationship in 2013 when Healey ran for attorney general.

“There is no one more qualified or more well-prepared to join the SJC than Justice Wolohojian. I’m proud of that nomination, and I’m proud of nominating someone who is so deserving and so qualified. It is what the commonwealth deserves,” Healey said in a press conference, according to Fox News.

Healey defended her pick, saying that her former partner was unanimously recommended by the five-member Judicial Nominating Commission.

“Of course, I had a personal relationship with Judge Wolohojian for many years, so I happen to also know something about her character and her integrity and the kind of person she is,” Healey added. “I don’t want the fact that she had a personal relationship with me to deprive the Commonwealth of a person who’s most qualified for the position.”

In 2015, Boston Magazine reported that Healey and Wolohojian had been together for eight years after meeting at the law firm Hale & Dorr where they had both worked at one time. Healey and Wolohojian then moved in together, living in a rowhouse in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood. Healey, who became the first open lesbian to be elected governor in the U.S. in 2022, now lives with her partner Joanna Lydgate, reported.

Wolohojian’s nomination was slammed by the chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, who said it is “highly inappropriate.”

“It is highly inappropriate for the governor to nominate to Massachusetts’ highest court an individual with whom she had a long-term romantic relationship in the past,” Massachusetts GOP chair Amy Carnevale said. “This nomination clearly demonstrates a lack of accountability inherent in one-party rule.”


Wolohojian must now be approved by the Governor’s Council, an eight-member board that will hold a confirmation hearing on February 21.

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