Judge Who Ruled Against Health Care Reform Owns GOP Consulting Firm

The decision by a federal judge in Virginia that portions of the Affordable Care Act are unconstitutional is drawing scrutiny not so much for its outcome but for the fact that the judge presiding over the suit owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in a GOP political consulting firm that worked to undo health care reform.

And this is why many, including the administration, have suggested that the court challenges to the health insurance reform law are more politically motivated than legally sound.

The apparent conflict of interest was first reported at the Huffington Post and other outlets as far back as July after campaign disclosures revealed that Judge Henry Hudson owned a significant share of Campaign Solutions, Inc.  Among the campaigns that Campaign Solutions worked with include vocal opponents of the reform like John Boehner and Michele Bachmann and a host of others who placed the constitutionality of health care reform at the center of both campaigns and the Republican party platform moving into the 2012 elections.

This is not the first blatant conflict of interest surrounding the challenges from the right to the Affordable Care Act.  Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginny and her group have received the most attention, and both raise the issue of just how infected with politics the judiciary has become. 

Even if this decision were to stand on the merits, and it is unlikely it will ultimately, the fact that remains that judge Hudson refused to recuse himself shows a significant flaw in the judiciary.  Furthermore, conservatives filed many challenges in many jurisdictions, hoping for conflicting decisions since a circuit split is one of the surest and fastest means of getting a matter before the Supreme Court.  More than likely their choice of venue in Virginia was driven by judge Hudson’s presence on the bench.

The decision is likely to be appealed, though it is possible that the Obama administration could decline to appeal since the order did not actually strike any provisions of the ACA.  If there’s an upside to this entire mess it is a renewed focus on judicial ethics and the relationship between the judiciary and the electoral process.  But given the reluctance by the mainstream media to draw any attention to these relationships, let alone raise critical questions surrounding them, unfortunately very little is likely to change.

Sign the petition to nullify Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling due to conflict of interest.

photo courtesy of mrbill via Flickr


John R.
John Reilly6 years ago

We should appoint Judge Henry Hudson to the Federal Supreme Court and then impeach all of the GOP appointees including the sexist, liar Justice Clarence Thomas who sold our free elections to Corporations.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

A clear conflict of interest.

michael m.
Mike m6 years ago

Well, color ME surprised.

jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

I love when there's NO conflict of interest in these cases.
Judge owns shares in a GOP political consulting firm -- isn't he just the perfect man to rule on something the GOP opposes.
Does anyone else sense a setup.

Gene W.
Gene W6 years ago

@Kenny, In other words Kenny you don't have any facts to back up your rant.
@Ronald E., gosh Ron it is because your post are so intellectually superior that you "feel" that way.

Past Member 6 years ago

so what??? and we have legislators who are voting on issues directly related to companies they own...same thing... ethics??? hell, no one has been paying any attention to them for decades now...seems that they are outmoded now...and that's why we are in the mess we are now in...perhaps...it's time to bring back our ethics....it isn't just the judges and lawyers with conflicts...it's all the politicians...the government employees...lobbyists...yep...there's a whole list....

Ronald Ellsworth
Ronald E6 years ago

I love to see the posts of the likes of Gene W. They make me feel so intellectually superior and evolved!

Patricia S.
Pat S6 years ago

Gene W,
See why we have problems today?

Kenneth M.
Kenneth M6 years ago

Is it just me? I feel like I've been pushed down the rabbit hole, destined to meet all the weird creatures with all their weird logic. Opinions are facts, facts are discounted. In this wacky world, mad-hatter judges need not worry about conflict-of-interest if they own businesses, partially own businesses, or own stock, or?......onto the next level of owner-wordsmithing. They can rule on whatever they want, with no basis if they so choose. In the wacky mad-hatter world, George Bush could declare himself the winner....oops, or did that really happen on this side of the rabbit-hole? Geez, which side is which? Was it really our supreme court mad-hatters who, after denying petition after petition from a beleagered state and the campaigns based on the idea that only the voters have standing, eventually rule that the people had NO STANDING in deciding the presidential election?!! The Cheshire Cat ate the election!!! And we've been living with that Cat's excretions ever since.

Of course, this is problem with actually trying to engage such creatures in sensible communication: you run the risk of getting lost in their strange world. Is that why so many vacuous morons sit slack-jawed in front of FoxNews day-in and day-out? They've given up, and handed their soul over to the rightwing wonderland. And why not, it just might bring them full-circle back to their wonderland glory days of 2000.

Gene W.
Gene W6 years ago

In other words Kenny you don't have any facts to back up your rant. Holding shares in a corporation which is publicly traded is not ownership of the corporation. Come on is that the best that you can do?