by Max Brantley
KUAR has some good sound bites from Appellate Judge Wendell Griffen following his argument to the Arkansas Supreme Court that his judicial discipline hearing should be open to the public. He has waived confidentiality. It's un-American to suggest the trial for punishing a judge for exercising his First Amendment right on public policy issues should be conducted in secret. The U.S. Supreme Court has also ruled that judges don't lose those rights when they ascend to the bench.
The judicial board's lawyer, Jay Wills, argued that secrecy is needed to protect witnesses. What witnesses? Griffen is going to be tried for speaking on racial injustice, administration policy after Katrina and similar public policy topics. There's no witness who has any privacy right to protect in this proceeding. Let the sun shine in. No wonder they want this outrage conducted in secret.
Noted: Our Hoglawyer blog was in the courtroom and filed a report.