Rapert suggests Wendell Griffen should be removed as judge | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rapert suggests Wendell Griffen should be removed as judge

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 9:06 AM

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Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen wrote a blog post Dec. 29 about the decision not to indict a Cleveland police officer in the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice. Sen. Jason Rapert, who's had things to say about minorities beforeisn't happy about what the black judge had to say.

Excerpt from Griffen on the Rice case:

Welcome to the latest pernicious example of white privilege and racial preferences in the United States, and the one that is defended most effectively and consistently. The killing of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, like that of Eric Garner in New York City, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Rekia Boyd and Laquan Robinson in Chicago, Illinois, Sandra Bland in Texas, and numerous other black and brown people at the hands of or in the custody of law enforcement personnel , proves why human rights activists argue that that black and brown lives do not appear to matter to people in law enforcement, on grand juries, to the judges and jurors who may decide the outcome of civil trials, and to the society that allows this perversion to continue under the pretense of “criminal justice.”

White privilege is vehemently denied and/or criticized by pundits, politicians, and other willfully ignorant people. But white children who play with pellet guns in public places are not gunned down within seconds after police see them (the way Tamir Rice was killed). I dare you to prove otherwise.


The Pony Express apparently took a while to reach Faulkner County with Griffen's dispatch. But the Bully of Bigelow had plenty to say about it on Facebook today (He is Twitter ranting, too):

How can a judge continue to serve in Arkansas and write such blatant racially motivated hatred and anti-law enforcement remarks?

Fair justice cannot be achieved from any judge - black or white - when they harbor such hatred within them. This column recently written by Judge Griffen is troubling and should be reviewed by the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. If a judge can be removed from office for making inappropriate sexual references, another judge should definitely be removed for deep seated racial hatred and anti-law enforcement remarks.
The people of Arkansas deserve a court system that has judges who are able to fairly and equitably handle cases without imposing their own personal opinions on the outcomes. Judge Griffen has a history of being unable to do that. His peers must act to restore integrity within their own ranks.

Respectfully,
Sen. Jason Rapert

PS — Unsure what case Rapert might be referring to relative to sexual references, unless he was talking about his pal, defrocked Judge Mike Maggio of Conway, whose crude remarks on an Internet site were injudicious but less of a problem related to his continued service than 1) his disclosure of details of a confidential adoption case and 2) money funneled to him from a nursing home owner through a former senator — both nursing home owner and former senator, coincidentally, are supporters of Rapert — that influenced his decision in a nursing home negligence case.

PPS — Judge Griffen has established, along with others, that judges don't lose 1st Amendment rights by virtue of their judicial offices. Whether they SHOULD be as free-speaking about such matters as police conduct is another matter. I've said before that he ought to be more judicious. The racially fraught case against a Little Rock police officer charged with killing a black suspect tried twice in his court was a good example of when a judge's free speech can figure into public perceptions on handling of a case.

Rapert is the last person to comment on ethical propriety and he also has a poor understanding of separation of powers. He improperly spoke with a sitting Supreme Court justice about the marriage equality lawsuit, prompting that judge's recusal, and he threatened legislative reprisals against judges who ruled that the U.S. Constitution overruled his prejudices on gay marriage.

Respectfully, an idea to resolve this dispute: Cage match debate. Only condition being that Rapert and his posse check their shooting irons at the door.  You could sell tickets.

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