Foster asks Supreme Court to rule on judicial qualification question | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 7, 2014

Foster asks Supreme Court to rule on judicial qualification question

Posted By on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 4:44 PM

click to enlarge FOSTER: Wants Supreme Court to intervene.
  • FOSTER: Wants Supreme Court to intervene.
Circuit Judge H.G. Foster has asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to assume jurisdiction in a recently filed lawsuit that alleges that Foster doesn't meet the constitutional requirement to hold office. Foster, 61, currently serves in the 20th Circuit. He was appointed to the position by the governor in 2013. 

Foster's running for a different division in the 20th Circuit as appointed judges can't run for the position to which they were appointed.* His opponent in the race, Doralee Chandler, filed suit against Foster, arguing that because Foster has had his legal license suspended, he doesn't meet the criteria for holding the office as outlined in Amendment 80 of the state constitution.

filed today on Foster's behalf, attorney Jeff Rosenzweig writes that Foster's license was suspended "due to oversights and misunderstandings" and argues  that nonpayment of license fees doesn't count as a suspension under the Supreme Court's rules of conduct for attorneys because only "former attorneys" go on suspension. If so, the legal world really needs to come up with a new word ("Such suspensions are not suspensions...," reads the petition at one point). 

Here's why the Supreme Court should hear the suit, according to Rosenzweig:

Rule l-2 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals recognizes that matters of "substantial public interest" are within the discretionary jurisdiction of this Court. Cases involving the Arkansas Constitution, elections and regulation of the practice of law and the judiciary are required to be in this Court. Because of the important public interests involved, the possibility of inconsistent findings among the various circuit courts, because of the short time before the election, because it is appropriate that the electorate know at the time of voting whether a candidate is legally qualified to serve, and because Foster's status to currently serve must be resolved expeditiously, this Court should accept and decide this case on the merits and decide whether or not a suspension for failure to timely pay a license fee disqualifies a person from serving as a judge.

The suit against Foster comes in the wake of a ruling by specially appointed Judge John Cole that Valerie Bailey, a candidate for the 6th Judicial District seat, was ineligible for office because her license had been suspended for nearly nine years. That Bailey's suspension was of an administrative nature, rather than for misconduct, didn't matter, Cole said. "A suspension is a suspension is a suspension," he said from the bench.

Since that ruling, similar lawsuits have also been filed against attorney Angela Byrd, who's also seeking to become judge in the 20th District Circuit, and Judge Tim Fox, Bailey's opponent.

*A previous version of this post incorrectly said that Foster was running for the judgeship to which he was appointed. It also mistakenly said he was appointed in 2012 and that he was appointed to fill Rhonda Wood's vacated position. Instead, Foster is running for the division in the 20th Circuit that Wood vacated that's currently held by Judge Amy Brazil

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The PR Stunt Edition

    Little Rock’s Amazon PR stunt, the Tom Cotton to the CIA rumor, French Hill and Puerto Rico and UA-Little Rock's football future — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • The First Amendment, Yo Edition

    The latest in the legal fight to stop a law that would prevent Planned Parenthood from performing abortions in Arkansas, the cancellation of a rap show in Little Rock and its First Amendment implications, a stunning investigative report on drug court defendants being forced to work for free for Arkansas poultry companies and bellicose Tom Cotton — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Oct 13, 2017
  • Come with the Arkansas Times to the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival

    After several years of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro hosting benefit concerts to raise money for the restoration of Johnny Cash's boyhood home, this year the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival debuts in Dyess just outside the Cash homeplace. And of course the Arkansas Times is chartering a bus to be there. The lineup is spectacular: Kris Kristofferson (one of the greatest songwriters of all-time easily), Rosanne Cash, Joanne Cash and Tommy Cash and Buddy Jewel.
    • Oct 13, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Guest Playlist: Flap Jones of "Not Necessarily Nashville" schools us on real country music

    "Not Necessarily Nashville," which airs on KUAR-FM 89.1 every Saturday, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., celebrates three decades of the "best of the rest of country music" Saturday, October 21 at the White Water Tavern with Brad Williams of The Salty Dogs & The Creek Rocks, and we asked host Flap Jones to curate a playlist for us ahead of that anniversary celebration.
  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Most Viewed

  • Hog football: The lawyers take over

    If you believe social media, it's all over but the post-season buyout for Razorback football coach Bret Bielema. That means, in turn, that the issue of what the coach's contract buyout is worth is not just an academic question.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Sunday open line

    • How about smoked filled pool halls with the stale beer smell and the last Place…

    • on October 22, 2017
  • Re: Sunday open line

    • Stash, some people like smoky old bars. I haven't smoked since June 22, 1973, but…

    • on October 22, 2017
  • Re: Deficits don't matter any more; tax cuts for the rich do

    • The republicans will trickle the entire country rich! People will be clamoring to get in…

    • on October 22, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation