Arkansas judge who blocked TV ads removes himself from Supreme Court justice's case


A Washington County circuit judge who ordered that negative political ads against Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson be pulled off the airwaves recused himself from further involvement in the case Wednesday.

However, the temporary restraining order by Circuit Judge Doug Martin still stands.

A hearing that Martin had set for Thursday in the case has been delayed indefinitely until a new judge is assigned, Washington County Circuit Clerk Jon Jarboe said.

Martin issued a recusal letter late Wednesday at the request of Goodson’s legal team.

“It is clear that the public has raised concerns about the appearance of this Court’s perceived impartiality in this matter,” Goodson’s lawyers said in a motion submitted early Wednesday.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported that Martin earlier reported receiving income through his wife from the law firm of Goodson’s husband, John Goodson.

Martin issued the order without a hearing but said in his recusal letter that the restraining order blocking the ads from airing stands.

Justice Goodson is fighting a three-pronged legal battle in Arkansas’ largest media markets against what she says are “defamatory” ads being run by an out-of-state group that does not disclose its donors.

She is running against state Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Hixson and Department of Human Services Chief Counsel David Sterling.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


insultech112241630 says...


Posted 16 May 2018, 4:41 p.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

Swamp like D C is with orange man

Posted 16 May 2018, 5:05 p.m. Suggest removal

Delta2 says...

I think they call that "taking one for the team", although I agree with the order.

Posted 16 May 2018, 6:26 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

Actually, the appearance of the recusal is FAR worse. He blocked the ad and then essentially cut and run on Goodson's attorney's request leaving the case delayed indefinitely. The voting will be over by the time this gets resolved now. I hope Goodson gets SOCKED at the polls.

Posted 16 May 2018, 6:27 p.m. Suggest removal

syzito says...

The judges ruling is unconstitutional and can legally be ignored. You do not have to obey unconstitutional laws.

Posted 16 May 2018, 6:45 p.m. Suggest removal

RBBrittain says...

@syzito: Though there is ample evidence that the TRO is unconstitutional (go to top legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy to see why), it's not a good idea to ignore a court order simply because you, or even someone as important in legal blogging circles as Eugene Volokh, thinks it's unconstitutional. Let it be reassigned, then let the opponents regroup and get it struck down.

Posted 16 May 2018, 7:35 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

At which point the election will be over. I'm not sure what can be done, but something needs to happen. The circumstances of the TRO and Goodson's connection to Judge Martin plus his recusal leaving the TRO in place until after the election stinks of bullshyt to the highest order.

Posted 16 May 2018, 7:53 p.m. Suggest removal

AlvinH says...

When I lived in NWA, I heard that he was not the most reliable attorney back then.

Posted 16 May 2018, 11:44 p.m. Suggest removal

CartoonDude says...

He recused himself AND ordered the ads still be blocked? Which is it: Conflict of interest or not?

Posted 17 May 2018, 7:05 a.m. Suggest removal

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