Judge Who Struck Down Health Care Law Recalls "20 Years Of Active Service To The Republican Party"

December 15, 2010 6:43 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that a key provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring individuals to own health insurance is unconstitutional. Hudson's opinion, which has even conservative legal scholars questioning his logic, did not come as a surprise given the Bush-appointed judge's known "roots in Republican politics." In his 2007 memoir, Quest for Justice, Hudson recalled how his "20 years of active service to the Republican party" helped him land a seat on the federal judiciary. According to Virginia Lawyers Weekly's December 3, 2007, review of the book:

After Congress created a new judgeship for the Richmond Division in the Eastern District of Virginia in 2001, Hudson expressed his interest and picked up the support of the state's two Republican senators.

Hudson's description of the selection process candidly acknowledges its political nature. "Campaigning for a federal judgeship is almost as challenging as running for political office," he writes. "Rather than court voters, aspirants solicit endorsements from influential political activists with close ties to the senators, particularly the activists who raise the big money.

"That is where 20 years of active service to the Republican party, and helping in the various campaigns of each senator, paid dividends and gave me the edge," he said.

Hudson's critics have already pointed to his financial interest in Campaign Solutions, Inc., a Republican consulting firm whose past clients include the Bush and McCain presidential campaigns, the RNC, Citizens United, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), and a slew of other conservative lawmakers. At a time when Republicans greet every nomination to the bench with cries of "judicial activism," Hudson's self-described "active service" to the GOP only calls his impartiality further into question. 

Print