Judge who overturned drilling moratorium now facing death threats, reportedly sold oil stocks before ruling 

Bayou Buzz:

It is a sad indictment of our society today that a judge with such a sterling record of integrity and service to his country would be subject to such threats. Feldman was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan in 1983. Today, he is in the eye of a political hurricane unlike anything he has ever experienced.

In issuing his ruling, Feldman said that the moratorium was faulty because there was no “rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.” While there is often debate about the merits of judicial decisions, seldom does the criticism focus on the integrity of the judge. Right after he issued the ruling, Feldman came under attack as a tool of the oil industry. Media outlets reporters noted that the Judge held stock in oil and gas companies and implied that his decision was based on his own personal financial considerations. Such a personal attack is unfair and completely unwarranted, especially for Feldman, a distinguished judge known for his commitment to the law and a jurist who has earned the praise of people throughout the legal community.

Much of the sensational reporting on Feldman’s investments was based on outdated information. The Judge was blasted for owning stock in Transocean, Ltd and Halliburton, two of the major companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Feldman owned those stocks in 2008; however, he sold those shares long before issuing his ruling this week. In fact, this updated information will be released in the next report on his stock holdings.

What do you want to bet the fact that the judge sold his stock in Transocean and Haliburton before he handed down the ruling doesn’t make headlines anywhere near as big as the allegations of conflict of interest? And death threats? Must be those violent Tea Partiers again…

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Mark Hemingway

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