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story.lead_photo.caption Judge Wendell Griffen is shown in this file photo. - Photo by Staton Breidenthal

A federal judge has temporarily put the brakes on pre-trial information-gathering in Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s pending lawsuit against the justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. issued a two-sentence order granting the justices’ request to freeze the discovery process until a petition the justices filed last month at the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis has been decided.

The petition asks the appellate court to order Moody to correct a legal “error” that justices contend he committed in refusing to dismiss the case against them. The justices say they were entitled to immunity and that the discovery process is time-consuming and invasive.

Griffen is suing the justices over an order they issued last year barring him from presiding over death-penalty cases.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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