Judge Van Pelt wins in Georgia; Justice Goodson advances in Arkansas

I previously noted the bizarre story of Georgia Superior Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt, a twenty-year veteran of the court who was promised a “blood sport” campaign by a local kingmaker. Last night, Judge Van Pelt fought off his challenger, Melissa Hise, winning over 52% of the vote.

A couple states away, Arkansas Justice Courtney Goodson advanced to a two-way race with a local attorney to keep her seat, after a whirlwind couple of weeks in which Goodson sued an out-of-state group for broadcasting defamatory attack ads against her. That lawsuit produced a preliminary injunction against the ads in some Arkansas counties but not others, and the case is still pending.

Perhaps the cauldron of a political campaign improves one’s skill, patience, and approach to judging. But I am having trouble seeing it.

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