WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge nominated to the nation’s second-most powerful court said Wednesday that he was writing as an academic and commentator when he criticized as “indefensible” a Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act. Justin Walker, a 37-year-old protege of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said he will have an open mind on the Obama-era health care law if it comes before him as a district or appeals court judge. At a hearing on his nomination to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Walker declined a request by Senate Democrats to recuse himself on matters related to the health-care law if he’s confirmed. Walker said he was “an academic and a citizen engaged in the public sphere” when he wrote a 2018 article calling Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion upholding the health care law “indefensible” and “catastrophic.” Walker said he would be bound by the ruling as precedent and would consider any challenge to it with an open mind. Democrats say Walker’s confirmation could threaten the health of millions of Americans protected by the law, which the Trump administration is challenging in… Read full this story
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