The Arkansas Supreme Court today upheld a circuit court that said the Republican Party couldn’t intervene in a lawsuit challenging the eligibility of former Rep. Jimmie Wilson of Helena West Helena to run as a Democrat for the state House of Representatives.
A lawsuit challenged his eligibility on account of a federal misdemeanor conviction in 1991 for using a crop loan in 1981 for personal purposes. He was pardoned.
Circuit Judge Alice Gray dismissed the lawsuit because of errors by both the lawyer for the original plaintiff and for the would-be intervenors — Republican House candidate, David Tollett, and the Arkansas Republican Party.
Tollett and the Republican Party appealed. The Supreme Court said their request to intervene was properly dismissed because they had not served notice to Wilson as the law required. But the court reversed Gray’s dismissal of the suit “with prejudice,” meaning it could not be refiled. It held it dismissed without prejudice, meaning it can be refiled. The Court specifically said it was not ruling on the question of Wilson’s eligibility.
It isn’t over until it’s over.