Judicial appearances, Rhonda Wood and Courtney Goodson edition | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Judicial appearances, Rhonda Wood and Courtney Goodson edition

Posted By on Sun, Jan 20, 2019 at 8:50 AM

Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood's party pix from Gov. Asa Hutchinson's inaugural ball drew a critic on Twitter who drew me into the conversation. Happy to join in.

The Tweet above drew this response, on which my Twitter account was tagged, and then drew Wood counter-response.

Having been included in the Twitter thread, I chimed in:

As with Judge Griffen, an authorized action isn’t always wise when you will sit on cases related to the person you’ve publicly praised
In case you miss the point: Justice Wood joined her Supreme Court colleagues in rushing to punish Judge Wendell Griffen for taking part in a death penalty protest on a day on which he'd ruled earlier in a case about a drug used in executions. As I've said many times before, I believe Judge Griffen has every religious and free speech right to speak publicly about issues of importance to him, such as the death penalty. But I also think judges are often better served by shutting up. When they speak on controversial and political issues, they give rise to a public perception that those beliefs might influence their judicial decisions, no matter how much the facts support those decisions.

The Supreme Court often hears cases of importance to the governor of Arkansas. Might we now have cause to think Rhonda Wood would put a thumb on the scale of justice for someone she worked for and announces publicly she's "proud to have as governor"? It's not unreasonable, if her own ruling in the Griffen case is a guide. The same could be said for Wood's decision to sit on cases involving nursing home magnate Michael Morton, who, thanks to help from her friend, the accused felon Gilbert Baker, was the primary engine in her fund-raising campaign to be elected to the Supreme Court.

While we're on the subject of inaugural party pix and justices hobnobbing with politicians.

And also:
click to enlarge screen_shot_2019-01-20_at_8.43.36_am.png

Tags: , , , , ,


Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Riverfest will take a hiatus this year

    Riverfest, the Little Rock riverfront festival reinvented last year with a private concert manager, won't be back this year though the organization that ran the revamped event last year says it hopes to return in 2020.
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • Fatal shooting in apartment parking lot confrontation

    Little Rock police say Alvin Walls Jr., 23, was killed about 3:40 p.m. Saturday in a parking lot confrontation at apartments at 5001 W. 65th Street. The shooter later turned himself in to police, but has not been charged.
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • The casino political fun continues with Pope County judge op-ed

    The Arkansas Racing Commission is preparing to take applications for casino permits in Pope and Jefferson Counties, but the high-powered politicking is already well underway in Pope County as evidenced by a seeming shift in tone from Pope County Judge Ben Cross.
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017


Most Recent Comments


© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation