Maura Healey follows viral Trump tweet with federal lawsuit over immigration order

"I don't wake up every day looking for a way to sue Donald Trump. But..."

11/19/2016  ARLINGTON, MA    Attorney General Maura Healey (cq) speaks to a large crowd during a post-election town hall held at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington.   (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey pictured speaking to a crowd in Arlington last November. –Aram Boghosian / The Boston Globe

Maura Healey is no President Donald Trump when it comes to social media.

Scrolling through the Massachusetts attorney general’s Twitter feed, her posts generally garner a few dozen retweets.  But on Monday night, she fired off a missive that, by Tuesday afternoon, had been retweeted nearly 10,000 times.

During a press conference Tuesday, Healey announced that Massachusetts was joining a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Trump’s order, which temporarily banned all refugees and visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, in an attempt to shield the country from terrorism. The order also indefinitely blocks Syrian refugees from entering the country.


Standing with local education, business, and civil rights leaders Tuesday afternoon, Healey said the order, which resulted in widespread confusion and protest over the weekend, was “discriminatory” and “dangerous.” She also said that it harms the interest of Massachusetts’s local economic and educational institutions. In a statement Tuesday, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said the attorney general had the full support of his administration.

“It’s a threat to our Constitution,” Healey said of Trump’s ban, which she argued is motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment and does not further the country’s security interests.

According to Healey’s office, the suit claims that Trump’s order — parts of which were temporarily halted by federal judges Sunday — is unconstitutional because it takes away rights from lawful residents and other visa holders without due process. Healey also argues the order unconstitutionally discriminates upon the basis of religion and country of origin, “without sufficient justification.”

“By filing this suit today, we are fighting for the principles that have made America a beacon of hope and freedom for the world,” she said Tuesday.

As the State House News Service reported last week, Healey’s office has already filed three separate suits against the Trump administration related to consumer finance and environmental and higher education regulations.


In an additional (albeit less-viral) tweet Monday night, Healey also took a less-orthodox path to push back against the president’s agenda — urging followers to resist Trump on his own turf.