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Irritation at Arkansas judges stirs talk of change

Lawmakers take steps in conflict

By John Moritz

This article was originally published May 7, 2017 at 3:41 a.m. Updated May 8, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

sen-trent-garner-r-el-dorado-is-shown-in-this-2016-file-photo

Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, is shown in this 2016 file photo.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Howard Brill is shown in this photo.

Judge Wendell Griffen

Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, is shown in this Feb. 5, 2015, file photo.

Judges -- especially those working in Pulaski County -- have drawn the ire of legislators more than once over the years.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Howard Brill is shown in this photo.

Judge Wendell Griffen

Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, is shown in this Feb. 5, 2015, file photo.

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TuckerMax says... May 7, 2017 at 7:25 a.m.

So, the legislature essentially is admitting that it hates anybody elected in Pulaski County because it's more liberal than the parts of the state they come from. Well, that's just too bad.

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WGT says... May 7, 2017 at 7:41 a.m.

No. Republicans need to be impeached. They are arrogant.
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The fewer republicans there are, the less there will be more laws to make smaller government.
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With present day social observation at the disposal of so many, the inevitable backlash of the pushing one into a corner will result.

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NoUserName says... May 7, 2017 at 8:35 a.m.

Griffen reeks of bias. Read the guy's blog. While I don't agree with bouncing a judge because you don't like a ruling, Griffen is an embarrassment and an example of a judge who needs to go.

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PopulistMom says... May 7, 2017 at 8:45 a.m.

Being black and liberal simply is not grounds for impeachment. There are not that many black judges in the state. The public is entitled to diversity.

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NoUserName says... May 7, 2017 at 9:23 a.m.

And I'll ask again, Pop, have you read the guy's blog? If you have, do you find that Griffen is what we want on the bench? Or is being black the only qualification?

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RaylanGivens says... May 7, 2017 at 10:25 a.m.

Griffen lost his marbles quite a few years ago; he needs to go but he will be there until he dies. He could get caught with a dead hooker and nothing would happen

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PopulistMom says... May 7, 2017 at 10:26 a.m.

NUN,

I read his blog. He is pro Jesus and poor people. He believes that the LRSD should devote more resources to poor areas. He is against the death penalty. I have not seen anything which would constitute grounds of impeachment. Quite a few judges always rule in favor of the most powerful party so that they can keep their jobs.

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NoUserName says... May 7, 2017 at 10:45 a.m.

I'm not talking impeachment. That's a separate matter. The fact remains that a sitting judge calls Key and Poore, leaders of a district still under COURT control, 'current versions of the white supremacists that ran public education in Arkansas' who only decided to dissolve the board when it became majority black. Among other things. You have to scroll back a bit to read the whoppers, dear.

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skeptic1 says... May 7, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.

If the judiciary was doing its job the legislature wouldn't have to. There are two other judges in Pulaski County that have had multiple complaints filed against them but the judiciary does nothing to them because it would be politically sticky. When you elect trial court judges and higher don't expect legal scholars, you will get nothing more than what was bought and paid for. Judge Griffen, while crossing ethical lines outside of the court, is actually a pretty good judge, light years ahead of one that has been there for 20 very long years. Lawyers withdraw their suits and then refile to get another judge assigned when they get assigned to this particularly bad judge which means more costs to their client. We the tax payers pay these judges $160,000 a year salary, why are they not held accountable?

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PopulistMom says... May 7, 2017 at 1 p.m.

NUN,

Well, white supremacists at one time did run the LRSD, this is why we got Cooper v. Aaron (the Central High case) and court supervision etc. etc. Unfortunately, white supremacy has come back in fashion in some Republican quarters. The Republican leadership is predominantly white male. The Republican Senate group working on the healthcare bill failed to include either Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski. What was that about? These pictures of bunches of white males celebrating taking away people's healthcare is going to come back to haunt the Republicans. During the campaign Trump spoke about how much he respects women, but his appointments and advisors are predominantly male.

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