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A cable provider in Arkansas is appealing a judge's ruling ordering it and several Little Rock TV stations to stop running a conservative group's ad attacking a state Supreme Court justice seeking re-election.

Comcast of Arkansas filed notice Tuesday that it's appealing Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's order preventing stations from airing the Judicial Crisis Network's ad criticizing Justice Courtney Goodson. Goodson sued to block the ad, claiming it was false and defamatory.

Piazza issued his ruling hours before another judge said the ad could continue airing in the northwest Arkansas area.

Goodson is running against Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Hixson and Department of Human Services Chief Counsel David Sterling in Tuesday's non-partisan judicial election.

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  • wolfman
    May 22, 2018 at 6:46 p.m.

    What happened to free speech. Leave it up to the voters to decide about the ads that air

  • RBBrittain
    May 23, 2018 at 1:29 a.m.

    Wolfman, voters do NOT decide what ads air; generally it's political groups that raise money to produce the ads they want and buy time on the stations to air them.
    .
    In any event, the whole issue (including Comcast's appeal) may be moot; Judge Piazza's injunction against the ad expired at midnight, and the order states Comcast stopped running the ad voluntarily May 13. It has two advantages over the Washington County TRO: (a) it was issued after a hearing where all sides had an opportunity to be heard, and (b) it was narrowly tailored to one specific ad (which the judge saw in the hearing) for a specific timeframe (until midnight May 22). That said, however, it may still be unconstitutional, though less blatantly so than the TRO; and it may meet the "capable of repetition" exception to mootness as JCN will almost certainly try to attack Goodson again leading up to the general election (the "runoff" for judicial races).

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