Arkansas Supreme Court clarifies new ethics rules for judges

The Arkansas Supreme Court is clarifying new ethics rules for judges after getting complaints that the rules are confusing.

Friday’s clarification includes elimination of a rule that judicial candidates avoid knowledge of who donates to their campaigns. Legal experts say the rule was nearly impossible to follow because candidates attend their fundraisers.

The rules also ban candidates from asking for donations that won’t be reported by the campaign if it’s used “to influence the outcome” of the election. Legal analysts say that is aimed at organizations known as “dark money” groups that are not required to identify their donors and have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on state Supreme Court elections since 2014.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Chief Justice Howard Brill declined to comment on the revised rules.


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