ARKANSAS: Two State Supreme Court Justices Recuse From Marriage Case

Via Arkansas News:

Two Arkansas Supreme Court justices on Wednesday recused themselves from a newly created case to determine how the court should proceed in a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Both of the justices said they see no need for the new case, and one accused the court’s majority of creating the new case as a way to delay ruling on gay marriage. Chief Justice Jim Hannah and Justice Paul Danielson wrote letters explaining their decisions not to participate in the new case, which the court created April 2 to resolve a dispute over which justices should hear the gay marriage case.

The state is appealing a Pulaski County circuit judge’s ruling last May that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The court heard oral arguments in the case Nov. 20, but it had not ruled by the time two new justices, Rhonda Wood and Robin Wynne, joined the court in January. Wood was elected to replace Justice Cliff Hoofman, who did not take part in the Nov. 20 oral arguments because he had recused himself. Former Gov. Mike Beebe appointed Robert McCorkindale as a special justice to hear the case in place of Hoofman. Wynne was elected to replace Justice Donald Corbin, who retired.

The case is separate from the one to be heard next month by the Eighth Circuit Court, which will also hear the cases out of Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.