Arkansas Lawmakers Split On Reforms After State Supreme Court Races

Mar 30, 2016

Arkansas lawmakers appear split on what changes, if any, are needed to how justices are chosen after conservative groups overwhelmed two state Supreme Court races with television ads this year.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee debated Wednesday whether the state should consider ending the popular election of justices or require disclosures from outside groups.

The proposals are being floated after candidates for two state Supreme Court seats and outside groups spent more than $1.3 million on television ads before the March 1 judicial election.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said the state should look at whether justices should be appointed rather than elected. Democratic lawmakers are pushing for requiring disclosure from groups spending money in campaigns.