Health care judge moderated Va. attorney general debate in 2009
Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) wasn't kidding when he told reporters months ago that he's appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson, who Monday gave Cuccinelli a legal win when he ruled that a key portion of the federal health care law is constitutional.
At the time, Cuccinelli seemed to be referring to when he was a Fairfax attorney arguing in court before Hudson, who used to be a circuit court judge in Northern Virginia.
But he could well have been recalling an October 2009 debate hosted by the Richmond Bar Association between he and Steve Shannon, Cuccinelli's Democratic opponent in the attorney general's race.
Yes, that's right -- the Richmond association tapped Hudson to moderate a debate between Cuccinelli and Shannon in the months leading up to the 2009 election.
Hudson didn't get much attention as the debate moderator at the time. His role in the political event might raise eyebrows from advocates of the health care law, who've said that George Bush appointee is a partisan who should have recused himself from ruling on health care because he owns a stake of a Republican campaign consulting firm. (Hudson has said he invested before joining the bench and has no day-to-day role with the group.)
But Shannon defended Hudson, whom he's known since he tried cases as a prosecutor in Fairfax when Hudson was a judge there.
"Anybody's who been before Judge Hudson would say he takes his job quite seriously," Shannon said.
"I have never viewed him as a jurist as a political hack," Shannon said. "I think it's perfectly reasonable to attack the logic of his argument. But I'm not going to be one of those who attacks his integrity."
Shannon said Hudson was a fair moderator during the attorney general's debate.
"In the context of setting the debate rules and moderating, he was very judicious and didn't reveal any political leanings one way or the other," Shannon said.
Debate coverage largely focused on Shannon's aggressive tone. He charged that if Cuccinelli was elected he would challenge the federal government in ways reminiscent of those used by civil rights opponents. Cuccinelli accused Shannon of "race-baiting."
Rosalind S. Helderman
| December 15, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Attorney General's Race, Election 2009, Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman, Steve Shannon
Save & Share: Previous: Zimmerman to chair Arlington board, Fisette highlights year
Next: UPDATED: Cuccinelli appeals to Virginia Supreme Court over U.-Va. global warming request
Posted by: BruceFairfax | December 15, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hsr06011 | December 16, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse