I’d been halfway expecting it, and now we have it.
A little mention has been made to me from a good left-of-center Democratic source that at least Associate Justice Courtney Goodson disclosed everything and is a good jurist.
And that the drumbeat against her is being fed cynically by the state business community to advance bad tort reform law.
And that a progressive columnist such as myself shouldn’t let himself get used like that.
All right, then. Let me get right on these issues:
1. Tort reform that would cap punitive damages is useless, never makes any difference in malpractice insurance rates and is destructively distrusting to the jury system we ought instead to treasure.
2. Even more aggressive tort reform as proposed at the Legislature to let the legislative branch basically run the court system is an outrage.
3. Neither No. 1 nor No. 2 has anything to do with, nor should either be given impetus by, the fact that national news sources have alleged that Goodson’s husband, Texarkana lawyer Johnny Goodson, has made his vast fortune operating in a “class-action hellhole” in Miller County where rich interstate defendants allegedly are nagged open-endedly into settling for often-lucrative attorneys’ fees.
4. Neither No. 1 nor No. 2 has anything to do with a Supreme Court judge who sullies her and her court’s vital perception of independence by not having the basic good judgment to make sure she doesn’t accept a gift valued at $50,000 from an attorney associate of her embattled husband in one of those class-action matters, all of this extending to use of a yacht owned by a prominent Arkansas businessman whose interests sometimes intersect with legal matters.
To summarize: We don’t need tort reform. We don’t need a class-action hellhole. We do need a Supreme Court fully committed to appearances of integrity and propriety and independence.
Glad to get straight on all that.