Arkansas Finding it Difficult to Find Judges to Hear Used-Car Case
Oct. 15, 1991
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Arkansas is having trouble finding justices to preside over a tax case.
Coming up with someone who hasn't bought a used car outside Arkansas in the past eight years.
''I worked my way through nearly the entire transcript and did not realize I had a conflict until my wife said something about a used car I had bought back in 1988,'' lawyer B. Michael Easley said Monday.
Easley was one of two lawyers appointed to hear the case on appeal after two Supreme Court justices stepped aside. Easley later disqualified himself, as did the other lawyer. As did a retired judge. As did another justice.
''I had bought a car in Louisiana for my daughter during the period involved in the lawsuit,'' the retired judge, James H. Pilkinton, said Monday. ''It's a class-action lawsuit and I'm part of the class, so I had to resign.''
Last year, a Pulaski County chancellor ruled unconstitutional the state's tax on out-of-state purchases of used cars, airplanes and mobile homes. He ordered the taxes repaid with interest. The taxes could total $150 million.
The case was scheduled for arguments before the Supreme Court on June 17 but was delayed when two justices stepped aside. So far, delays have added $4.89 million in interest.