'Those activist judges' 

Those activist judges

Doug Smith's article ("Toxic judicial elections and how to avoid them," Nov. 2) did not scratch the surface of this important issue. "Greedy corporations and bigoted, right wing religionists seizing control" of the judiciary is the most sophomoric and irresponsible comment I have ever read in your paper. What Hon. Robert Brown describes as "toxic judicial elections" and demagoguery are actually, in my opinion, positive and healthy democratic responses to judicial overreach. For example, the judges invent a right of privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965), which is contained nowhere in the Constitution. Then, the courts invoke these judicially created rights to invalidate laws passed by our elected representatives and by the people themselves (e.g., Initiated Act 1 in Arkansas). In Iowa and elsewhere, the courts consistently ignore public opinion in enacting same-sex marriage, which has been rejected every time it has been put to a vote. And you and others criticize us for having the audacity to remove activist judges from office? Exactly what do you propose we do? Judges who want to "constitutionalize" very sensitive and contentious social and political issues do so at their own risk and should not complain when they are thrown out of the political arena they chose to enter. Thankfully, they are not immune from democratic oversight. We are all familiar with the concept of "judicial review," another power the judges awarded to themselves in 1803 (which was considered and specifically rejected by the Constitutional Convention). Let's call this "democratic review." Yes, it is messy, imperfect and expensive, but it is far better than the alternative.

Michael Emerson

Little Rock

Don't forgive loans

At what point did a "loan" not become a loan? I was shocked recently when I read that the government was (by executive order) reducing the time on "forgiving" a student loan from 25 to 20 years. In my ignorance, I simply went to school and paid my way through by working. After all that education, how dumb am I? I simply could have taken a student loan and not paid it back, only to be forgiven after the time limit on it expired.

What a message we are sending to young people being educated. Get the degree we told you would be beneficial, but if it doesn't work out, hey, don't worry about it. We'll forgive it, at which point your kids and the construction workers who didn't go to school will pay it off for you. In the meantime, don't shower for a couple of weeks, go down and occupy Wall Street, and urinate in public. God Bless America.

Ron Collins

Hot Springs

From the web

Commenters flooded the Arkansas Blog in response to a post that included a video of Little Rock Police Lt. David Hudson, working off-duty at the time for Ferneau Restaurant, repeatedly hitting a man named Chris Erwin in the face. Erwin was later charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. To see the video and read about the incident, visit arktimes.com/Erwin.

These actions were not warranted in this situation. Force to this extent is only in situations of life threatening nature to the officer. Take his badge! Furthermore, he was in LRPD uniform acting as a figure in law enforcement, even though it was more like the scum of the PO's you see on TV. Thank goodness for the civilians who stepped in and did their part in making sure this was brought to light.


What this video doesn't reveal is the conversation between the suspect and the officer. It looks like the officer was giving the suspect plenty of opportunity to place his hands on the wall and to comply. As you can see, the suspect never does and is continually trying to turn around to face the officer. As an officer who has been in such situations with a non-compliant suspect, it was always my practice to leg-sweep them and get them to the ground where I could gain compliance and get them handcuffed as quickly as possible. The only thing I can say about this video otherwise is that as an officer it has never entered my thoughts to ever just punch anyone in the face. Also, such incidents don't need to be reviewed or investigated by, at least solely, a civilian. Civilians do not go through the use of force training and are not educated on the real threats that are out there for police officers. So a civilian without the training and experience will be too quick to judge such incidents.


This is another good reason why police officers should not be allowed to work private security jobs while off duty. Just as the two female officers in the apartment complex who killed the old man recently, these cops were representing and protecting private interests, but since they are police officers 24/7, they have subjected the City of Little Rock to potential liability for their off-duty exploits. Just about all police departments allow this; none of them should.


I know this "cop." He is not a thug or a criminal but a decorated and respected police officer. That man resisted arrest and was treated accordingly. It's too bad that a 175-lbs. yuppie picked a fight with a 250-plus-lbs. experienced police officer. It tends to screw your face up a bit. Next time he should think about what he says and does in the presence of law enforcement. I always do and I have never had my ass kicked by one.

Kimberly Green


From the ArkTimes store


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Outsourcing state government

    As a citizen, I don't get to choose not to pay taxes because I don't like what the Arkansas state government is spending state and federal money on, such as paying a Chinese company, Sun Paper, approximately $1 billion to build a paper mill in Clark County.
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Radical Zinn

    Re: the bill to remove Howard Zinn books from school libraries: When "alternative" books are removed from school libraries and class curriculums, it is the beginning of broader suppression of education and civilian participation in politics, not the end of it.
    • Mar 9, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • 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 itsĀ 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • 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.

Latest in Letters

  • Repulsed

    Regardless of the spectrum of your religious beliefs or lack of, does alluding to any religious icon or symbol of any religion [when writing of] the joys of double-finger penetration inspire any of your readers to any form of greatness?
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • The 2018 mayoral race

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Open letter to AG Leslie Rutledge

    This letter is in response to your decision to join Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state legal officials in calling for President Trump to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


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