by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Supreme Court today granted a taxpayer's motion to expedite a hearing on a challenge to the three-part constitutional amendment that includes a proposal to jack up the interest limit on retail lending. The schedule calls for oral arguments Oct. 21. The court also will hear arguments on whether it has original jurisdiction to try the challenge to the form of the amendment without having it first heard in circuit court.
Lawyers challenging the amendment say they've been unable so far to get a response from Circuit Judge Mary McGowan on a request to speed a hearing on the challenge at that level. With a ruling on the merits there, they say they have time to he controlling issue before the Supreme Court before the election and in time for the Oct. 21 hearing on the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction issue.