ARKANSAS: Gov Appoints Gay Adoption Opponent To Hear Marriage Case
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has appointed three special justices to fill openings on the Arkansas Supreme Court in a case to decide which justices should rule on the lawsuit challenging the ban on same-sex marriage. They are former Republican senator Shawn Womack, now a circuit judge in Mountain Home; former Republican attorney general candidate and former appointed Supreme Court Justice Betty Dickey, and Brett Watson, a Searcy lawyer. No word yet on how quickly the three are expected to come up to speed on the question carved off as a separate case by Justices Courtney Goodson, Karen Baker, Jo Hart and Robin Wynne. When a legislator, Shawn Womack introduced, but didn't pass, a bill to prohibit adoptions by homosexuals. Not that discrimination against homosexuals is squarely at issue in who decides how to rule on the marriage case. Or is it? Womack failed, but voters in 2008 approved an initiated act to accomplish Womack's aim. The Arkansas Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional, but the membership in that court has changed dramatically, even more so in this special derivative case.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.