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Arkansas Supreme Court chief justice recuses from lawsuit limits case

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Photographs by Special to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Chief Justice John Dan Kemp

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Supreme Court's chief justice has removed himself from hearing a challenge to a ballot measure that would limit damages awarded in lawsuits and give the Legislature control over state court rules.

Chief Justice Dan Kemp on Thursday recused himself from the state's appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked officials from counting any votes on the proposed constitutional amendment in the November election.

A Pulaski County judge last week ruled the proposal unconstitutionally combines disparate proposals into one measure.

Kemp gave no reason for recusal in a one-sentence letter filed with the court, but the chief justice has spoken out previously against the measure.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will have to name a special justice for the case.

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