Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has responded to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s “emergency” request to the Arkansas Supreme Court that he be reversed on a recent ruling and that he be removed from all cases involving her office because of rude treatment of her staff.
Griffen said there’s no emergency, that the attorney general can appeal his ruling refusing to dismiss a lawsuit by an applicant for a medical marijuana dispensary permit. He contends he’s right on the law.
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As to the complaint seeking his removal, he said that request should be dismissed because the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission is the proper venue for complaints of judicial misconduct. He disputes that he’s been intemperate or unfair.
Here’s his motion to dismiss.
And here’s his brief on the motion. It argues, in part, that the state’s motion is an attempt to avoid compliance his order to produce evidence sought in the lawsuit and try the lawsuit. The state contends the case should be dismissed because the state cannot be sued. There are exceptions to that principle, however. He said the allegations of misconduct are a “sham.”
Griffen invited the public to hear a recording of the Sept. 13 hearing that prompted the state’s motion. He interrupted Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Merritt frequently. He said she wasn’t responding to his questions and he said he was known as a “hot bench,” for sharp questioning of unprepared lawyers.