FAITH, THE RULE OF LAW, AND DEMOCRACY NOW
Justice Is A Verb!
©Wendell Griffen, 2017
On May 8, 2017, I spoke with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, co-hosts of Democracy Now, about the controversy surrounding an April 14, 2017 temporary restraining order (TRO) that I issued concerning a pharmaceutical distributor whose drug product had been wrongfully and deceitfully obtained by the Arkansas Department of Corrections. After I issued the TRO, I followed through with plans our congregation (New Millennium Church) had previously made to attend a Good Friday prayer vigil in front of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.
Without notice to me and without allowing me any opportunity to be heard, the Attorney General of Arkansas and Arkansas Supreme Court engaged in ex parte (meaning hearing from only one side) communications based on the Attorney General's motion to remove me from the case and vacate the TRO on April 17, 2017, before I could hold a hearing on the dispute scheduled for April 18, 2017. The interview with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez focused on demands by some Arkansas politicians who have called for my impeachment and removal from the bench because of my Good Friday TRO ruling and my prayer vigil attendance. I am pasting the YouTube link to that interview for your information.
Do we truly have a democracy if judges are not free to hold and express beliefs about issues affecting our life together? Does faithfulness to religious conviction disqualify a judge from performing the duties of that office, let alone hold the office at all? Do we truly believe that judges cannot and will not follow the law when they disagree about the law they are sworn to uphold? How am I reacting to calls for my impeachment?
I hope the interview provides information about my thinking on these and related questions.