State Supreme Court Candidates Debate Whether They Should Debate

MAY 18, 2006 - Posted at 8:04 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Two judges seeking a position on the Arkansas Supreme Court are debating over whether they should debate.

Yesterday, Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen criticized his opponent, Booneville Circuit Judge Paul Danielson, for not debating him.  Griffen faces an investigation over public comments he's made, and Danielson said talking about issues that could come up in court wouldn't be appropriate.

The two face each other Tuesday in one of two state Supreme Court elections.  Because only two candidates are in each of the non-partisan contests, the winner of Tuesday's races will join the court in January.  A pair of justices will return to the court next year without opposition.

At a news conference yesterday, Griffen said Danielson doesn't believe judges should talk about issues off the bench and he doesn't believe judges should debate the issues in elected campaigns.  Danielson said he is abiding by Arkansas' code of judicial conduct.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)