The Democrat governor of Massachusetts has just nominated an ex-girlfriend to fill a vacancy in the highest court in the commonwealth.
Earlier this month, Justice David Lowy announced he was retiring from the Supreme Judicial Court to accept a position at the University of Massachusetts. On Wednesday, Gov. Maura Healey, 52, announced that she had nominated state Appeals Court Associate Justice Gabrielle Wolohojian, 63, to fill the seat.
“There is no one more qualified or better prepared to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court than Justice Wolohojian,” Healey said in a statement. Healey further claimed that Wolohojian “has an exceptional understanding of the law” and that “her work is widely respected by members of the bench and bar.”
The announcement from Healey’s office also includes a statement from retired Associate Justice Geraldine Hines. Hines claimed that Wolohojian is “uniquely qualified” for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and that she has demonstrated “the ability to accept and coax consensus from the inevitable debates that arise” among its seven justices.
Healey’s announcement about Wolohojian does not, however, include any mention of the romantic relationship the two women shared in the past. According to the New York Post, Healey and Wolohojian met at the Hale & Dorr, aka WilmerHale, law firm and began dating in 2007.
The two eventually moved in together and shared a home in the Charlestown area of Boston. As recently as 2015, when Healey was state attorney general, the two were still romantically involved.
They have since broken up, and Healey, who was elected governor in 2022, now shares a residence in Arlington with current partner Joanna Lydgate.
Democrat Deval Patrick, who served as governor of Massachusetts from 2007 until 2015, appointed Wolohojian to the Appeals Court during his first year in office. In her 15 years on the bench, Wolohojian has reportedly heard 2,700 appeals and authored more than 900 decisions.
Wolohojian’s nomination to the Supreme Judicial Court will first go to the nine members of the Governor’s Council for consideration and then a confirmation vote.