A new mailer by the Judicial Crisis Network, the out-of-state dark money group spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in Arkansas in an attempt to influence the race for chief justice of the state Supreme Court, has a new line of attack on Associate Justice Courtney Goodson, who is running for the position against Circuit Judge Dan Kemp. (Photos of the full flyers are at the bottom of this post, supplied by a reader who says they were received by a friend in southeast Arkansas.)
Ready for it?
Goodson is a stooge for Barack Obama. She’s enabled rampant voter fraud by illegal immigrants.
These assertions are based on the fact that in 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 2013 voter ID law narrowly passed by the legislature. All seven justices agreed the law was unconstitutional; evidently, the entire court was a hotbed of liberal activism.
In fact, Goodson wrote a separate, narrower opinion on that case, saying the majority opinion authored by Justice Donald Corbin was too broad in its conclusions about the unconstitutionality of adding barriers to voting. Goodson’s concurring opinion, which was joined by Justices Karen Baker and Jo Hart, said the voter ID law was invalid on more technical grounds, because the legislature should have taken a two-thirds vote on a law that instituted a change in voting requirements. The other three justices on the court at the time joined Corbin’s opinion, which stated enforcement of the law would disfranchise voters.
The Judicial Crisis Network says this vote makes Goodson “a rubber stamp for Barack Obama’s liberal agenda in Arkansas.” Quoth the flyer:
The Arkansas House and Senate overwhelmingly passed a common sense law requiring voters to show identification at the polls to prevent fraud and ensure the integrity of our elections. Encouraged by Obama’s opposition to voter ID laws, liberal opponents sued to block the Arkansas voter ID bill.
Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson sided with the Obama liberals and decided that Arkansas’ voter ID law was unconstitutional. Now, Arkansas election workers have no way to verify who is voting, opening the door to voter fraud and possible voting by illegal immigrants in Arkansas election [sic].
This is foul stuff, even by the standards of outside spending in elections. Grotesquely distorting a candidate’s record? Check. Demonizing immigrants? Check. Cynically injecting a dog whistle partisan issue into a judicial race? Check. Fabricating a linkage to Obama out of thin air? Check.
The voter ID issue hasn’t reared its head in awhile in Arkansas politics. But I’d guess the oppo researchers employed by the Judicial Crisis Network are quite aware of the restive mood of the electorate in places like Arkansas, in which Donald Trump’s immigrant-bashing, build-the-wall rhetoric is warmly received. Come to think of it, the JCN’s previous line of attack on Goodson — that she’s an “insider” beholden to “special interests” such as trial lawyers — is out of Trump’s eclectic populist playbook, too. Groups like the JCN are in the business of paying close attention to what’s bubbling out there in the American id and adapting their slimy messaging accordingly.
Arkansans might be surprised to learn that Goodson — who is lately touting her endorsement from the National Rifle Association, an unusual occurrence in a judicial race — is an activist liberal judge.