Judicial rumor mill: An opponent for Goodson? | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Judicial rumor mill: An opponent for Goodson?

Posted By on Sat, Oct 17, 2015 at 7:56 AM

click to enlarge FLAG WAVING: From Courtney Goodson's Facebook timeline - FACEBOOK
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  • FLAG WAVING: From Courtney Goodson's Facebook timeline
A reliable source says he believes a veteran circuit judge is close to making a decision to enter the race for chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Currently, Associate Justice Courtney Goodson is the only announced candidate.

Should this race develop, the money flow will be interesting to watch. I'd bet it will put the lie to Goodson's early assertion in campaign advertising that she's never been an "establishment" candidate, she who's married to a wealthy lawyer/lobbyist who vacationed on a Tyson yacht in Italy.

An opponent also will certainly drive out discussion of her curious actions in the same-sex marriage case. She controlled the handling of the case as being the designee to write the majority opinion. That, originally, was an opinion striking down the state ban on same-sex marriage, according to my sources. But, she wouldn't release the opinion before membership of the court changed and, finally, no opinion was ever issued because the U.S. Supreme Court handled matters. By that time, my sources also say, Goodson had an opinion ready to uphold the marriage ban in Arkansas had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled differently. The court escaped a finding of unethical conduct in its inexcusable delay and politicking on what was supposed to be an "expedited" case. But a lack of proof of ethical violation is not a finding of praiseworthy behavior. Perhaps Goodson will finally be forced to answer questions publicly about her role in the farce.

Filing is the first week in November. The campaign concludes in early March. Goodson will have immense financial resources. A decision by an opponent to run will be based on ability to raise some decent financial support against her expected superior treasury.

The Goodson web presence includes this quote:

Courtney is running for Chief Justice because she believes the Arkansas Supreme Court must always be a place where the Constitution is upheld, the rule of law carries the day, and the people are in charge. 

Is there a better place than Arkansas to illustrate the fact that when the people are in charge, the Constitution and rule of law are sometimes trampled? We used to say thank goodness for the judicial branch. Under Goodson?

PS: The no-damages-for-anyone business lobby (chamber of commerce types) is also looking hard for a candidate because they don't trust Goodson to necessarily stay bought given her husband's sometime association with plaintiffs' lawyers.

CORRECTION NOTE: I forgot several times and referred to Goodson by her previous married name.

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