Legal Ethics

Opinionated Judge Wins Ethics Case

Arkansas appeals judge Wendell Griffen has won his battle with a state judicial conduct commission over comments he made criticizing the Bush administration.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission ruled Griffen had a First Amendment right to discuss “disputed political or legal issues” in public speeches, the New York Times reports.

A press release issued at an earlier stage of the case said Griffen had been accused of making public speeches criticizing the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq, gay- and immigrant-bashing, and the nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. for chief justice.

The decision is not Griffen’s only First Amendment victory in the case. In January, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled (PDF) that the conduct commission’s probable cause hearing in the case should be open to the public.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.