A Washington County circuit judge who ordered that negative political ads against Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson be pulled off the airwaves recused himself from further involvement in the case Wednesday.
However, the temporary restraining order by Circuit Judge Doug Martin still stands.
A hearing that Martin had set for Thursday in the case has been delayed indefinitely until a new judge is assigned, Washington County Circuit Clerk Jon Jarboe said.
Martin issued a recusal letter late Wednesday at the request of Goodson’s legal team.
“It is clear that the public has raised concerns about the appearance of this Court’s perceived impartiality in this matter,” Goodson’s lawyers said in a motion submitted early Wednesday.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported that Martin earlier reported receiving income through his wife from the law firm of Goodson’s husband, John Goodson.
Martin issued the order without a hearing but said in his recusal letter that the restraining order blocking the ads from airing stands.
Justice Goodson is fighting a three-pronged legal battle in Arkansas’ largest media markets against what she says are “defamatory” ads being run by an out-of-state group that does not disclose its donors.
She is running against state Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Hixson and Department of Human Services Chief Counsel David Sterling.
Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.