Rutledge Seeks Second Oral Argument in Challenge Against Amendment 83
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that she has submitted a motion to the Arkansas Supreme Court requesting a second oral argument in the appeal of the challenge against Amendment 83 to the Arkansas Constitution. Attorney General Rutledge released the following statement:
“Two Associate Justices were not seated on the Arkansas Supreme Court when the first oral argument was held in November 2014, and Chief Justice Hannah was absent due to a national meeting of chief justices. I believe the Court would benefit greatly from a second oral argument. The people of Arkansas should know that as Attorney General, I will vigorously defend any challenge against Arkansas’s Constitution.”
Because the U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will review the marriage cases arising out of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, the Arkansas Supreme Court may decline to announce a decision until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules. However, neither side has requested a stay in the case before the Arkansas Supreme Court. The Court has the authority to rule on the issues before it, including state constitutional issues that will not be addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Attorney General Rutledge’s predecessor filed a notice of appeal with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on Dec. 23, 2014, regarding U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker’s decision in the separate federal-court challenge against Amendment 83. The State’s opening brief to the Eighth Circuit is due Feb. 17, 2015.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office.
Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.