Judge who struck down individual mandate has ties to Movement Conservatism

Via Steve Benen at The Political Animal, we are pointed to the following about Judge Henry Hudson, the Federal judge who overturned the mandated-purchase provision in Obama’s health care reform bill:

Judge Hudson was first appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986 to be US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and in 2002, George W. Bush appointed him to serve as district court judge for Virginia’s Eastern District.

According to disclosure forms, Judge Hudson reported collecting “dividends” totaling anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 from Campaign Solutions over a five year period of 2003 to 2008. Campaign Solutions later acknowledged that Hudson has owned stock in the firm since it was founded.

Campaign Solutions has a long record of working with conservative organizations and Republican candidates, including none other than Ken Cuccinelli. …

Along with Cuccinnelli, who was elected Attorney General in 2009, Campaign Solutions worked for John McCain and Bush’s presidential campaigns, the notorious Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and the Judicial Confirmation Network (since renamed the Judicial Crisis Network). In fact, Campaign Solutions was behind the establishment of the JCN, which was founded to support George W. Bush’s conservative judicial nominees and coordinate activities right-wing organizations, especially with Religious Right groups, although the JCN has since changed its name and works to oppose the confirmation of Obama’s nominees.

In 2008, The New Republic found that the JCN “publicly consists of two employees, a post box, and a website” and was “originally created in November 2004 by Becki Donatelli, a Republican PR doyenne who chairs Campaign Solutions (the firm used by Bush-Cheney ‘04, McCain 2008, the RNC, the NRCC, and even the 527 Vets For Freedom).”

About Donatelli, Sam Stein at the Huffington Post notes that:

The president of the firm, Becki Donatelli, is the wife of longtime GOP hand Frank Donatelli, and is an adviser to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, among others.

But back to Judge Hudson. According an Alliance for Justice backgrounder (pdf):

In 2007, Judge Hudson published a memoir, “Quest for Justice: From Deputy Sheriff to Federal Judge…and Lessons Learned Along the Way.” The Washington Post reported the following excerpt from the book:

“During my early years as a prosecutor I was narrow-minded and at times offensively self-righteous,” [Judge Hudson] writes … “I lied to the General Assembly and the Fairfax County Bar Association when I told them unequivocally that I had no intention of seeking a federal judgeship,” the former Fairfax judge writes. “Perhaps lied is too strong a term.”

The book received positive reviews from noted conservative commentators, including Oliver North.

SO WHAT do we have here? Ignore the connection to health care reform — that’s just the glitzy headline. The real connection, and the real story, is the connection to Movement Conservatism:

1. Judge Hudson is a career Movement activist, a founder of Movement organizations, a person supported at every step by Movement activists and their organizations, a man elevated to the U.S. District Court by a Movement president, who was himself made president by Movement Conservatives activists on the U.S. Supreme Court.

2. Hudson lied to gain his position, as many Movement Conservatives have done, including, to all appearances, prominent sitting justices. He’s in the “anything to win” crowd, filled with people who have been “anointed by God” to bring God to the country. People, in other words, whose self-assigned goodness transcends the need for conscience.

This is what the nation is facing; not some low-level corruption, the washing of a few thousand beans among friends with a health-care bug in their pants. But one more encounter with a radical revolutionary Movement whose cause is “just”, whose God is severe, and whose conscience has been carefully chloroformed.

They’ve been at this since the 1970s, relentlessly pushing the ball down the field, one generation after another. And as Judge Hudson proudly shows us, they’re at it as we speak.

See what you get when you poke into one corrupt little rathole? You get the history of the the last forty years.


UPDATE: Media Matters highlights Judge Hudson’s “20 years of active service to the Republican party” here.

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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