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 Cotton, Boozman Nowhere to Be Found Edition

    Arkansas politicians and the health care overhaul and Russia investigation, the ascension of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the firing of Pulaski County Superintendent Jerry Guess, the end of Riverfest, UA-LR and football and maybe more — all covered on the podcast.
    • Jul 21, 2017
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
    • Jul 18, 2017
  • The Power Ultra Fallout Edition

    The Power Ultra Lounge shooting and related political fallout, Secretary of State Mark Martin and Trump’s election integrity commission and former circuit judge Mike Maggio — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Jul 7, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes White House press secretary

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, is the new White House press secretary.
    • Jul 21, 2017
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.
  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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