US: Arkansas Legislative Council claims judge ‘abused authority’ by striking down marriage ban

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The Arkansas Legislative Council has approved a resolution condemning the judge who struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The resolution, submitted by Republican Senator Jason Rapert, condemns Judge Chris Piazza for declaring that Constitutional Amendment 83, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional last month.

Piazza’s ruling is currently stayed, pending an appeal from the state’s Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel.

The resolution, which passed by a clear majority in the Council despite Democratic opposition, also calls on the Supreme Court to overturn his decision, and to put the ban back into place.

It states in part: “Judge Piazza’s decision disregards the clear wishes of the state’s electorate (…) in direct contradiction to his oath to uphold the Arkansas Constitution.

“The Arkansas Legislative Council views the actions of Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza as an abuse of his judicial authority.

“The Arkansas Legislative Council shall explore legislative remedies to prevent the Arkansas Constitution and the will of the people of this state from being negated by judicial activism which violates the separation of powers ensured in our form of government.”

Democrat David Johnson said Piazza was only following the law by striking down the resolution, adding it’s not like “all these judges are going off the rails” by doing so.