Gov. Asa Hutchinson today announced the seven people he’d chosen to decide the Arkansas Supreme Court’s contest of the finding that they’d violated ethics rules in action they took against Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.

A panel of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission found that the seven-member court hadn’t given proper notice to Griffen before permanently removing him from all cases even tangentially related to the death penalty. This was part of its hurryup order over a weekend reversing a Griffen injunction and removing him from a property law case in which a drug distributor was attempting to recover drugs the state Correction Department had dishonestly obtained to carry out executions, a use the drug company prohibits. A political firestorm broke out after Griffen’s ruling because it could delay executions and also because he issued the ruling the same day he participated in a death penalty protest along with members of his church. It was a protected expression of religious belief, Griffen has said, and didn’t affect his ruling in the drug case. Another judge presented the same facts ultimately made an identical ruling.

Five members of the Supreme Court — not including Justices Courtney Goodson and Robin Wynne — later announced they intend to challenge the jurisdiction of the commission to sanction the Supreme Court and also said that procedurally there had been other ways to challenge its action against Griffen.

All seven members of the court recused from the case, leading to today’s appointments.

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Grant Fortson, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-861 Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, et al. v. Executive Director David Sachar, et al. Replaces Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Bennett Nolan, Fort Smith, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-861 Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, et al. v. Executive Director David Sachar, et al. Replaces Associate Justice Karen R. Baker, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Walter Cox, Fayetteville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-861 Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, et al. v. Executive Director David Sachar, et al. Replaces Associate Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

David Curran, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-861 Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, et al. v. Executive Director David Sachar, et al. Replaces Associate Justice Josephine Linker Hart, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Curtis Hitt, Paragould, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-861 Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, et al. v. Executive Director David Sachar, et al. Replaces Associate Justice Rhonda K. Wood, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge Chalk Mitchell, Helena-West Helena, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas, CV-18-861 Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, et al. v. Executive Director David Sachar, et al. Replaces Associate Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Janet Moore, Hot Springs, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas, CV-18-861 Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, et al. v. Executive Director David Sachar, et al. Replaces Associate Justice Shawn A. Womack, who has disqualified himself from the case.