Judge Wendell Griffen has filed his request for the entire 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear his appeal of a 2-1 decision dismissing his lawsuit that his constitutional rights had been violated by the Arkansas Supreme Court in removing him from all death penalty cases.

The Supreme Court removed Griffen after his ruling in favor of a drug company on rights to drugs the state had illicitly obtained to carry out executions, contrary to wishes of the drug distributor. He ruled the same day he participated in anti-death penalty demonstrations. He’s said he ruled on the facts of a property rights case and the Supreme Court action amounted to punishment for the exercise of 1st Amendment rights of free speech and religion.


Griffen argues today that the 8th Circuit had improperly used a mandamus proceeding to reverse and dismiss a district judge’s decision to keep the suit alive for trial. His attorney, Michael Laux, writes, citing precedent

These authorities agree mandamus is only for “extraordinary cases” to remedy a district court’s “usurpation of power” where the petitioner has no other adequate means for relief.

The Supreme Court wanted to stop discovery of evidence in the case. Instead, the 8th Circuit “leap-frogged” that issue to dismiss the case outright, he argues.


Here’s the full petition.