Now, there are death threats against the judge who ruled that Obama’s moratorium on drilling was illegal:
New Orleans–While many Americans undoubtedly agree with the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman to overturn the Obama administration’s moratorium on deep water drilling, not everyone is happy. In fact, the Judge is now receiving death threats in the aftermath of his bold ruling.
Last night, Feldman served as a celebrity judge at a cooking contest at a school gymnasium in Uptown New Orleans. Due to the threats, Feldman was accompanied by a federal marshal security team.
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Much of the sensational reporting on Feldman’s investments was based on outdated information.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.
If Feldman held financial interests in any of companies involved in the lawsuit or the Deepwater Horizon rig, he would not have been allowed the take the case. The 5th District Court uses a sophisticated computer system to check whether judges have a conflict of interest in any legal proceeding. This system automatically determines whether a judge needs to be recused from a particular case. In this lawsuit, Feldman was allowed to take the case because he did not own any stock related to the parties involved.