Ken Cuccinelli, Sudden Star?

The right is falling all over itself to laud today's health-care decision, and one man stands to benefit greatly: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who successfully challenged Obamacare where others failed.

Cuccinelli won election in 2009 on a ticket that included Gov. Bob McDonnell, a centrist who has since separated himself a bit from the more-conservative Cuccinelli. During his time in office, Cuccinelli has proven to be quite the crusader. The Washington Post profiled him in July, after he challenged the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gasses and told public universities they couldn't ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. As Nicole Allan reported in August, Cuccinelli issued a ruling on abortion clinics (stating they should be regulated as hospitals) that was basically designed to put them out of business.

Through the push to overturn health reform, Cuccinelli has made it a part of his political identity. His political website,, bears the in-browser header "STOP THE MANDATE: Join Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli," and the whole thing is built around a petition to support his lawsuit, through which Cuccinelli gathers names and email addresses to solicit political donations.

Now that Cuccinelli's lawsuit has succeeded in its first phase, opponents of Obamacare will have Cuccinelli to thank.

In some sense, it was a lucky break. Judge Henry Hudson is known as a conservative, and two other judges have upheld the health care law.

But it will further Cuccinelli's political career nonetheless, as he'll reap some national name-recognition out of this, as the case goes forward.

Where does Cuccinelli go from here? Democratic Sen. Jim Webb is up for re-election in 2012...just a thought about what Cuccinelli might be thinking.