Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey urges students to be engaged
Katherine Hazen '18
“When I stood on the Boston Common for [the Women’s March],” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said to a packed Weinstein Auditorium Tuesday, “I said my message to Donald Trump was ‘I’ll see you in court.’ Now even I didn’t think it’d be so soon or so often.”
Healey, an outspoken critic of the president, came to Smith for Constitution Day, encouraging attendees, particularly the students in the crowd, to take up the “role[s] we all have to advance the spirit, principles of that document.”
Healey is perhaps most known for her winning suit against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“One postal worker took on the entire federal government, and she won,” Healey said of the case. “She won because she had the Constitution on her side.”
The former professional basketball player has filed many suits against the current administration – most prominently against both versions of the president’s travel ban – in what she calls the “people’s law firm.”
Healey ended her speech with a powerful reference to her childhood, asking the crowd to remember the words of U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (D-Texas), who called for the impeachment of President Nixon. “Perhaps it’s time for history to repeat itself,” Healey said.
Healey’s speech was followed by a question and answer session. Students and community members asked questions, thanked Healey for her service and urged her continued action against the Trump administration.
Maddie Wettach ’20 asked Healey how she would amend the Constitution, which Healey herself said had its inherent flaws. Healey replied simply she would add an amendment overturning the controversial 2010 Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. FEC, which softened regulations on campaign spending and donating.
Healey encouraged students to become active and engaged in every way possible, by registering family and friends to vote, supporting women candidates and running for office even while undergraduates.
However, Healey told attendees to not become too focused on midterm and 2020 elections – instead, she urged attendees to live according to the ideals of the Constitution by focusing on the everyday actions they can take.