Judge Hudson’s Ethics, Health Reform’s Future and a Libertarian Nightmare
December 14, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)— A federal judge’s decision striking down a key provision of the health reform law, is not only ethically suspect, but could set the stage for a showdown in our highest court that could destroy our country and roll back 100 years of federal reforms. Not that this comes as a surprise for a Bush political appointee to the federal bench, but Henry E. Hudson, the U.S. District Court Judge who struck down the individual mandate provision of the health reform law, directly profited from a Republican political firm that worked to defeat health reform and worked for GOP candidates who ran on repealing the law. So, after two Democratically appointed judges found the Affordable Care Act Constitutional, Judge Hudson narrowly interpreted the Commerce Clause to strike down the individual mandate. Republicans like radical activist judges when they rule favorably for Republicans, but otherwise activist judges are portrayed as tyrannical threats to our freedom and our Republic, or something. With a deeply partisan states’ rights obsessed 5-4 divided conservative court that brought us Bush v. Gore and destroyed our federal elections with the Citizens United decision, the question is– Is the idea of an independent judiciary dead? And what will our future look like, if the Supreme Court delivers a radical 19th century tenther decision overturning the constitutional basis for the Affordable Care Act?
Not only did Hudson personally profit from his investment in Campaign Solutions, but the plaintiff in the challenge to the health care law, Virginia’s right-wing Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, was a client of Campaign Solutions.
Was Hudson required to recuse himself from the case? The ethical standards are unclear, but it sure looks bad, especially in light of his shaky and radical legal reasoning that led to his decision declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional.
“Hudson has held a stake in Campaign Solutions at least since 2003, according to financial disclosure reports. Every year since 2003, Hudson’s stake has had a “gross value” of between $15,001 and $50,000 dollars, but his yearly income from his investment has increased. Before 2006, he reported that he earned less that $1,000 dollars. In 2006 and 2007, he earned between $1,001 and $2,500 dollars. Since 2008, his yearly income from his partial ownership of Campaign Solutions has been between $5,001 and $15,000 dollars.”
Putting aside the Judge Hudson sleaze factor, there is the very real danger that his narrow states’ rights Libertarian ruling could be the harbinger of a future U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could completely destroy the role of federal government in areas of Civil Rights, discrimination and even child labor laws.
Mother Jones writes:
“Drastically limiting the scope of the Constitution’s commerce clause (as Hudson would do) is the slippery slope to the libertarian paradise. Almost every meaningful action the federal government takes with regard to the economy rests on the commerce clause. In the past, the Supreme Court has read that clause to be incredibly constrained. During the Lochner era (1897-1937), the court routinely struck down federal laws regulating working hours, child labor, and minimum wages as inappropriate interventions in individuals’ “right of contract.”‘
Photo Source: Wikimedia/Library of Congress, National Child Labor Committee/Public Domain.