Henry Hudson

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Henry Hudson
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Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #11T
Station:   Richmond, VA
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   08/02/2002 - Present
Preceded by:   114 Stat. 2762
Past post:   Judge, Fairfax County District Court
Past term:   1998 - 2002
Personal History
Born:   1947
Hometown:   Washington, DC
Undergraduate:   American U., 1969
Law School:   American U. Law, 1974

Henry Hudson is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He joined the court in 2002, after being nominated by President George W. Bush.[1]

Early life and education

Hudson graduated from American University earning his B.A. and J.D. in 1969 and 1974, respectively.[1]

Professional career

  • 1998-2002: Circuit court judge, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Virginia
  • 1994-1998: Attorney in private practice, Virginia
  • 1992-1993: Director, U.S. Marshal Service, U.S. Department of Justice
  • 1991-1992: Attorney in private practice, Virginia
  • 1986-1991: U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • 1980-1986: Commonwealth attorney, Arlington County, Virginia
  • 1979: Attorney in private practice, Virginia
  • 1978-1979: Assistant U.S. attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia
  • 1974-1979: Assistant commonwealth attorney, Commonwealth Attorney's Office, Arlington County, Virginia[1]

Judicial career

Eastern District of Virginia

On the unanimous recommendation of Virginia U.S. Senators John Warner and George Allen, Hudson was nominated by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2002, to a new seat created by 114 Stat. 2762, which was approved by Congress. Hudson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 1, 2002, on a Senate vote and received commission on August 2, 2002.[1]

Notable cases

Key elements of "Obamacare" held unconstitutional (2010)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius, 3:10-cv-00188-HEH)

Judge Hudson was the presiding judge in a lawsuit filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli regarding the healthcare reform bill which was signed into law by President Barack Obama.[2]

The State of Virginia sued to challenge the federal government's provision in the healthcare bill, which required Americans to buy health insurance by 2014. Cuccinelli brought the case and challenged the law on the basis that it violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The federal government argued that Congress had the right to regulate insurance because it involved interstate commerce.[2]

CLICK HERE for a copy of Attorney General Cuccinelli's Memo in Opposition to the Federal Government's Motion to Dismiss.

After studying the stock holdings of Judge Henry Hudson, Americans United for Change, an advocacy group, requested his recusal from the case. From 2003 to 2008, Judge Hudson held stock in a company called Campaign Solutions, Inc. The company has had both the Republican National Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee as clients. In response to the claims, the company said, "Since joining the federal bench, he has fully disclosed his stock ownership in the company. He is a passive investor only, has no knowledge of the day to day operations of the firm, and has never discussed any aspect of the business with any official of the company."[3]

On the first day of Cuccinelli's suit before the court, Judge Hudson said he would have a decision by the end of the year, but acknowledged, “As you well know, this is only one brief stop on the way to the United States Supreme Court.”[4]

True to his promise of announcing his decision by the end of the year, on December 13, 2010, Judge Hudson agreed with the central tenet of the case argued by the State of Virginia. He ruled that under the Commerce Clause, Congress did not have the authority to compel Americans to buy health insurance. However, there was no immediate impact on the policy in general at that time, as the judge refused to suspend the implementation of the Act.[5] On June 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most of the healthcare reform bill, in the case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius; the provisions Virginia challenged were ultimately upheld.[6]

Michael Vick dogfighting case (2007)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (United States v. Michael Vick, 3:07-cr-274)

Hudson was the presiding federal judge in the case of United States v. Peace, Phillips, Taylor & Vick, which was best known as the trial of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

Michael Vick was investigated by the U.S. Marshal's Service for his involvement in a dogfighting ring in Virginia, which he ran along with three other people. The operation was known as the Bad Newz Kennelz.[7]

Investigations from the Eastern Virginia U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Marshals led to Vick's indictment on July 18, 2007. The federal indictment charged Michael Vick and three other associates of competitive dogfighting and conducting the venture across state lines, in the Commonwealth of Virginia and in the State of Georgia. The 19-page indictment alleged Vick was highly involved in the operation, finding that he attended fights and paid off bets when his dogs lost. The indictment also said that he was involved in the executions of dogs that did not perform well.[7]

Federal officials twice searched the property owned by Vick near Smithfield, Virginia, in 2001 after suspicions were initially raised earlier that year. Officers reportedly found equipment associated with dogfighting, blood stains on the walls of a room and a bloodstained carpet stashed on the property. Federal officials reportedly removed more than 60 dogs from the property.[7]

The indictment also went into detail on a series of dogfights in which members of the operation allegedly participated, including several fights in the fall of 2003 when Vick was sidelined with a broken leg.[7]

Plea and sentencing

In July 2007, Vick entered not-guilty pleas in front on Judge Hudson on all charges brought against him. As a condition of his bail agreement, Vick was forced to surrender his dog-breeding permit and passport and limit his amount of travel. Vick was also prohibited from contact with any co-defendants during the case. This set the stage for a jury trial on November 26, 2007.[8]

Federal sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 18 to 24 months; Vick was sentenced to 23 months. "I'm not convinced you've fully accepted responsibility," Hudson told Vick, who voluntarily surrendered on November 19, 2007, to begin serving his sentence early.[9]

Despite the early surrender, a public apology and participation in an animal sensitivity training course, Vick was denied an "acceptance of responsibility" credit that would have reduced his sentence. Judge Hudson said evidence, including statements by the co-defendants, showed Vick was more directly involved than he admitted. Hudson also mentioned that Vick had been deceptive on a polygraph test. Though that evidence was not admissible in court, the results were discussed.[9]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
NA-New Seat
Eastern District of Virginia
Seat #11T
Succeeded by: