Maureen Martin, R.I.P.

February 05, 2013

The following statement is from Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute:

Maureen Martin, a long-time senior fellow and legal counsel to The Heartland Institute and a close friend to many of us here, died in a house fire early this morning. This is truly a sad day.

Maureen was a talented attorney, scholar, and writer. She was deeply committed to protecting individual liberty and limited government through her work with The Heartland Institute, the Federalist Society, and as a volunteer in her local community with many groups.  She was deeply involved in a half-dozen research and writing projects for Heartland, projects that will now be much the poorer without her.

Maureen was the editor of Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly, a newsletter that documented outrageous examples of lawyers and plaintiffs abusing the legal system for personal gain. She was the author of two Heartland Policy Briefs explaining and defending Wisconsin’s Act 10, a pioneering collective bargaining reform measure. She wrote legal briefs on a wide variety of topics including the right of nonprofit groups to keep the identities of their donors confidential, the Second Amendment, and environmental regulation. Her amicus brief was cited by the majority in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark ruling in McDonald v. Chicago, finding  individuals have a constitutionally protected right to "keep and bear arms."

In 2012, when The Heartland Institute was the victim of criminal theft of corporate documents, Martin worked tirelessly to assemble a legal team to explore our legal options and press the U.S. Attorney to prosecute the offender. Most recently she completed work on chapters for a new book on the urgency of constitutional reform that Heartland plans to publish later this year.

Since joining Heartland in 2000, Martin became a friend, mentor, and confidante to everyone in Heartland’s orbit. Though considerably less than 5 feet tall, she commanded the attention of others by her quick wit and her always insightful observations. She was a loyal friend, a great listener, and always the optimist in the room.

We have lost a true friend, and freedom has lost one of its finest defenders.