Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson lost her bid to run the state's highest court two years ago after coming under fire from conservative groups that spent big on mailers and TV ads targeting her. Two years earlier, David Sterling was defeated in the race for the Republican attorney general nomination despite outside groups going after his rival in that race.
Now, the two are about to face off in what could wind up being another costly and heated fight for a state high court seat that could overshadow other races on the ballot this year. It could also turn into a proxy fight over the state's resumption of executions and the court's role in scaling back what had been an unprecedented plan to put eight men to death over an 11-day period.
Goodson quietly launched her campaign last week, with an adviser confirming that she planned to seek another term on the state's high court in the May judicial election. The same day, Sterling said he planned to challenge the incumbent jurist.
Neither candidate has laid out campaign arguments, but the past two election cycles offer some guide of what to expect. Goodson launched her bid for the chief justice seat ago vowing to represent "conservative values" on the court.
"The Supreme Court is supposed to represent your common sense, conservative values, to uphold the rule of law and to look out for your rights," Goodson said in a campaign video she posted in the fall of 2015.
A year earlier, Sterling was touting his conservative credentials in his campaign for attorney general and promised to use the office to protect Arkansans from "an overreaching federal government." Sterling lost in the runoff for the Republican nomination against Leslie Rutledge, who is now seeking re-election as the state's top attorney.
A judge dropped an arrest warrant Thursday for a University of Hawaii professor who refused to respond in court to English and spoke Hawaiian instead.
Samuel Kaleikoa Kaeo was in court Wednesday facing a trial for charges connected to his participation in a 2017 protest against the construction of a solar telescope on top of Haleakala, a volcano on Maui, Hawaii News Now reported .
When Judge Blaine Kobayashi asked Kaeo to confirm his identity, he repeatedly responded in Hawaiian instead of English.
Kobayashi said he couldn't understand Kaeo and issued a warrant for Kaeo's arrest, saying "the court is unable to get a definitive determination for the record that the defendant seated in court is Mr. Samuel Kaeo."
Kaeo, an associate professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii Maui College, said he has appeared before the judge before and complained that "it was about the fact that I was speaking Hawaiian that he didn't like."
Kobayashi recalled the bench warrant Thursday, the state Judiciary said in a statement. Judiciary spokesman Andrew Laurence declined to answer questions about the recall, including what prompted it.
Kaeo faces misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing a sidewalk. Kaeo, who also speaks English, requested a Hawaiian interpreter in the courtroom but prosecutors had objected, saying it was an unnecessary expense that would have caused delays.
The Connecticut Supreme Court is expected to issue decisions and hear arguments in a variety of notable cases in 2018, including a newspaper’s quest for documents that belonged to the Newtown school shooter and Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel’s appeal of his murder conviction.
The Hartford Courant and the state Freedom of Information Commission are appealing a decision by a lower court judge, who ruled in April that state police don’t have to release documents that belonged to shooter Adam Lanza. The commission had ordered state police to release the documents.
The 20-year-old Lanza shot his mother to death at their Newtown home before killing 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. He killed himself as police arrived at the school.
The materials requested by the Courant include a spreadsheet ranking mass murders and a notebook titled “The Big Book of Granny,” which contains a story Lanza wrote in fifth grade about a woman who has a gun in her cane and shoots people and another character who likes hurting people, especially children.
Lawyers in the case did not return messages seeking comment. Andrew Julien, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Courant, declined to comment.
The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments in February over the state's efforts to recoup $60 million from one of the nation's largest online charter schools.
The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is challenging how officials tallied student logins to determine that the virtual school was overpaid for the 2015-16 school year.
The state says that ECOT didn't sufficiently document student participation to justify its funding and could owe millions more from 2016-17.
The court has scheduled oral arguments in the case for Feb. 13.
The e-school has said it could be forced to close in early 2018, in the middle of the school year, if the court doesn't intervene. ECOT said such a closure would affect almost 12,000 students and eliminate more than 800 jobs.