Arkansas’ Activist Judges Griffin and Piazza
It didn’t take a crystal ball to forecast that Wendell Griffin, Pulaski County’s left-leaning Sixth Circuit Judge and arguably the most active activist judge in the state, would favor same sex marriage in his ruling this week.
Griffin’s decision came as a follow-up to the May 2014 ruling by another activist judge — Pulaski County’s Sixth Circuit Judge Chris Piazza — that struck down the state’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage.
Jerry Cox with the Family Council says
Judge Wendell Griffen ruled the same-sex marriages performed from May 9 – 15, 2014, were in fact valid despite Judge Piazza’s failure to strike all applicable state laws related to same-sex marriage. While we — and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge — disagree with Judge Griffen’s ruling, it really comes as no surprise.
On May 12, 2014, Judge Wendell Griffen presided over at least one same-sex marriage in the rotunda of the Pulaski County Courthouse in Little Rock; pictures of Judge Griffen appeared in the news to prove it. At the time, Judge Griffen clearly believed same-sex marriage was legal in Arkansas, despite the fact some state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage had been left in place by Judge Piazza. In light of that, it’s really no surprise Judge Griffen ruled the way he did.
In fact, in his opinion handed down yesterday Judge Griffen actually went so far as to describe Judge Piazza’s 2014 ruling as “courageous and plainly stated.” If Judge Piazza’s 2014 ruling really was “plainly stated,” I wonder why Judge Piazza had to correct his ruling after the fact; why the Arkansas Supreme Court has taken so many months to review the ruling on appeal; and why addition litigation has been necessary to clarify whether or not the same-sex marriages performed in the immediate aftermath of Judge Piazza’s ruling were actually legal.
Out of many, just a couple of recent examples of Griffin’s non-stop activism come to mind:
Earlier this year, at the time Griffin was assigned the lawsuit on the state’s takeover of the Little Rock Schools, the leftist Arkansas Times published Griffin’s article opposing the takeover.
When defendants questioned his impartiality and asked for a recusal, Griffin said it would be a “dereliction of duty” to recuse in a 25-page order that included his earlier statement in full and chastised the defendants for saying the appearance of impartiality is a compelling state interest.
Griffin, who of course also presides over many cases with racial components, also wrote about “cultural competency” during the Trayvon Martin incident, concluding that the “law is not color-blind,” but “is about experience” and that justice was not done in the Martin case.
Arkansas suffers from an overabundance of rulings by activist judges who continually place themselves above our 135 elected legislators, the executive branch (Governor) and majority of the state’s voters, despite their oaths to uphold the law. What We the People need are impartial judges who rule according to the Constitution and not according to their political persuasions. Griffin and Piazza obviously don’t.