Over the last few days an interesting lawsuit has been covered by national media (primarily The Volokh Conspiracy ar Reason.com).
Apparently there is a highly contested race for their state’s Supreme Court, and one candidate has filed lawsuits against tv stations for running ads. The claim is that the ads are funded by “dark money,” which is essentially a leftist gripe against the right for daring to copy their tactics.
The plaintiff candidate: sitting Justice C. Goodson.
The defendants: tv stations running ads by the judicial crisis network in certain counties.
The judge: Doug Martin.
The twist: the judge presiding over the case delivered a restraining order of the ads without a hearing. Three hours after filing the complaint. (Excellent turn around, cough cough. Arkansas must have super efficient courts). The judge’s spouse works for the Justice’s spouse. How convenient. His family earns money from the plaintiff he ruled in favor for (while violating the first amendment). The judge then recused himself from the case, after media coverage criticized his dealings.
If that is how the law is handled, how can justice ever be obtained? It can’t. This is why people run on the platform of “draining the swamp.” We understand that institutions tend to abuse power, and that people abuse power to gain more power. When running for the highest court office, we should expect better, and demand that those who take the office of a judge or court justice be ethical and just.
This situation smells bad. My guess is that the media is covering it because more will come.
Just what is going on in Arkansas, and how bad is it?
Postscript: I don’t believe the point of this lawsuit is to prevent the ads from airing. Nor is it to punish the tv stations, or contribute to 1st amendment jurisprudence.
The point of this litigation is to gain information about the judicial crisis network, and its affiliated partners. If you read legal news, or just search news stories for “Leonard Leo” and “federalist society,” you will see that there is a huge push by the media to map out these organizations and their impact.
The point of the litigation is not found within the 4 corners of the complaint. It’s found in discovery.
Do not forget that.