The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission hearing on Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen has been postponed from July 20 to Aug. 23-24. David Stewart, who recently succeeded the retired Jim Badami as director of the commission, said the delay primarily was necessary for him to be fully prepared to handle the case developed under Badami. Griffen is accused of violating ethical rules for public remarks on such issues as the Bush administration handling of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. The hearing will be at the commissoin's Tower Building office. Griffen has filed for summary judgment. U.S. Supreme Court precedent seems to be on Griffen's side, but this is Arkansas, where the Supreme Court is not always a bell cow for public officials. Additionally, the commission has a long-standing burr in its saddle about the free-speaking Griffen.
The ACLU asked the commission today to consider Griffen's First Amendment rights.