JUDGE WENDELL GRIFFEN: Seeks broadcast of ethics hearings.

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, through his lawyer Michael Laux, has asked for broadcast of proceedings by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission about ethics charges brought against him.

A panel has found probable cause to believe Griffen violated ethical conduct standards by demonstrating against the death penalty on the day he decided a case that had implications for use of a drug in executions.


Laux has argued that the charges should be dismissed on First Amendment grounds. A Commission hearing will be held on that motion. The judge also faces a public trial on the charges if they are not dismissed.

Laux has asked that the Commission authorize “the broadcasting and recording” of these hearings. He’s also filed a motion that contends the Commission has refused to produce documents relevant to Griffen’s arguments. The trial on the charges will be open, but the Commission has not webcast or otherwise broadcast its hearings in the past.


I’m for public broadcast of as many public agency hearings as possible. Absent the ability of an agency to do so, I’d hope the Commission would accommodate those who’d like to record and broadcast such events if done in non-disruptive fashion.

Here’s the judge’s motion to compel production of material.

It says Griffen has been refused his request for any communications involving the Commission staff and special counsel, the Arkansas Supreme Court, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and staff members of the various officials. The motion says the request has been deemed overly broad.