Arkansas governor names retired judge to serve as special justice in gay marriage case

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Gov. Mike Beebe has named a retired judge from Harrison to fill in as a special justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court in the lawsuit challenging the state's gay marriage ban.

Beebe on Wednesday named retired Judge Robert W. McCorkindale to serve on the court as it considers whether to uphold the 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down the ban in May, which led to 541 gay couples receiving marriage licenses before the decision was suspended by the state Supreme Court.

McCorkindale will fill in for Justice Cliff Hoofman, who has recused himself from the case.

The court has not indicated when it will rule in the case.

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