Arkansas justices appeal decision allowing judge's lawsuit

Arkansas justices appeal decision allowing judge's lawsuit

By ANDREW DeMILLO
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Supreme Court justices are appealing a ruling that allows a judge to move forward with a lawsuit challenging his disqualification from execution cases following his participation in an anti-death penalty demonstration.

The court's seven justices on Tuesday asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a lower court's ruling regarding Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen's lawsuit over his disqualification. The Supreme Court last year prohibited Griffen from hearing any execution-related cases after he was photographed laying down on a cot during an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the governor's mansion.

A federal judge earlier this month dismissed Griffen's lawsuit against the Supreme Court as a whole, but said his lawsuit against the individual justices could proceed. Griffen has argued the disqualification violated his constitutional rights.

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