HHSC appeals “judge” Keith Grantham has denied a motion to disqualify HHSC appeals “judge” Rick Gilpin from presiding over the overpayment “hearing” of M&M Orthodontics of San Antonio. The ruling came out April 4th.
“Court,” not court
TDMR is now placing quotes around judicial terms relating to the HHSC appeals process because the Attorney General of Texas has given the opinion that these courts are not judicial in nature and do not carry the protection of the Texas Constitution nor are subject to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. In fact, OAG, in their odd defense of Gilpin against disqualification, stated HHSC courts are not real courts and Gilpin and the rest of HHSC judges are not real judges.
Gilpin had a 38-year history with the OAG before retiring and moving on to be an administrative law judge with HHSC. The motion to disqualify Gilpin argued that under the Texas Constitution and the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure that Gilpin could not be seen as impartial because of his OAG history. In defense of Gilpin, OAG had filed the brief that Gilpin wasn’t really a judge so the impartiality protection for defendants of the Texas Constitution and Texas Rules of Civil Procedure didn’t apply to him.
The Cornell University Law School defines a “kangaroo court” as:
1) An unauthorized, mock court or legal proceeding, e.g. a tribunal of sorority sisters created to settle disputes within the sorority, in which some or all of the accused’s rights are ignored and the outcome appears to be predetermined. The term’s first known use was in the American West in the 1850s.
2) Also slang for an authorized court or legal proceeding in which fair proceedings are impossible due, for example, to a partial judge or excessive press coverage.
The State of Texas, through the OAG ‘s legal argument in this case, in our opinion, has essentially deemed the HHSC “court” system a kangaroo court floating free from the rule of Texas law and capable of operating in a partial manner. It should have no legitimacy whatsoever.
Rule of law in disrepute
Further, it is remarkable that the OAG would support a system that, in our opinion, throws the rule of law into disrepute.
No reasons given for decision
“Judge” Grantham gave no reasons for his decision.