Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
February 8th, 2018 • News

February 8, 2018

  • Every few years the Arkansas Supreme Court hands down a ruling that sends shock waves through state government. The latest shockwave out of the Supreme Court has to do with sovereign immunity. In a strict interpretation of the Arkansas Constitution, the court ruled that nobody may sue the state in its own courts.
  • In other words, nobody can sue the state.
  • What is in question is the regulatory authority of state agencies. That was brought home in late January, when a circuit judge dismissed an appeal from landowners who had challenged the royalty payments they were getting. They had gone to the Oil and Gas Commission.
  • The judge dismissed the appeal by the property owners, while at the same time he invalidated most of the Oil and Gas Commission’s regulatory authority
  • In justification of his radical decision, the circuit judge cited the Supreme Court’s ruling on sovereign immunity.
  • It will take a long time to clean up this legal mess, and it will more than likely require voter approval of a new constitutional amendment. However, when the process is complete, the Arkansas judicial system will be stronger and fairer.
  •       Click to Listen - Audio Recording from February 8, 2018