There are any number of things that people incorrectly refer to as “irony” when they aren’t actually ironic.[foot]As The Oatmeal correctly notes, the most common use of irony is to inspire annoying arguments about whether something is ironic.[/foot] In general, for something to be ironic, the actual outcome must be the opposite of what the expected outcome would be.[foot]As least for situational irony; dramatic irony is slightly different. But now we’re off on a tangent. Focus, people.[/foot]
Using that definition, we are probably correct in saying it would be ironic if a ruling that disqualified someone from challenging a sitting judge ultimately meant that the same sitting judge was also disqualified.
. . . pausing for dramatic effect . . .
In the wake of Judge Cole’s disqualification of Valerie Thompson Bailey, I emailed the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court to check on any past administrative suspension of other judicial candidates. One of the candidates that I asked about was Judge Timothy D. Fox.
A few moments ago, I received the following from the Clerk’s office:
Timothy Davis Fox suspended for non-payment of dues: 3/2/13 – 4/16/13
Oh, my. You mean to tell me that Judge Fox’s license was administratively suspended more recently than Valerie Thompson Bailey’s was? And, as we all now know, “a suspension is a suspension is a suspension,” right? So . . . this is kind of a big deal.
Also a big deal? Another line from the same email from the Clerk’s office:
Rhonda Wood suspended for non-payment of dues: 3/2/08 – 3/13/08
Because Judge Wood is running for the Arkansas Supreme Court, she is required to have been a licensed attorney for eight years prior to the date of taking her seat. That Supreme Court seat would be hers in January 2015. Going back eight years from January 2015 gets you to January 2007. Which, at least on my calendar, is earlier than March 2008.
Which, in turn, means that — according to Judge Cole — Judge Rhonda Wood is ineligible to run for Supreme Court, and that she is ineligible to hold the seat that she currently occupies.
Remember back when I said that I suspected that Judge Cole’s ruling was going to make things worse before they got better? Well . . . here we are.