LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he plans to move quickly to appoint special justices to replace members of the state Supreme Court who recused themselves from a new case spun off from a challenge to Arkansas’ ban on gay marriage.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he plans to move quickly to appoint special justices to replace members of the state Supreme Court who recused themselves from a new case spun off from a challenge to Arkansas’ ban on gay marriage.


On Wednesday, Chief Justice Jim Hannah and Justice Paul Danielson recused themselves from a new case that a majority of the justices recently created to resolve procedural issues in the gay marriage case. Hannah and Danielson both said they saw no need for the new case, and Hannah accused the majority members of seeking to delay ruling on gay marriage.


Also, Justice Rhonda Wood recused herself from the new case last week. The new case was created to determine whether the court should hear new oral arguments, with new members who joined the court in January participating, or should rule based on the record, written arguments already submitted and oral arguments that were presented Nov. 20.


"We recognize the importance and the urgency of it," Hutchinson said in a meeting with reporters in his office Thursday. "No time frame, but we want to move quickly."


Asked about the squabbling going on among the members of the court, Hutchinson said, "I don’t know what’s going on internally over there. I am concerned about it, but that’s a separate branch of government, and I can’t solve the problem for them."


The state is appealing a Pulaski County circuit judge’s ruling last May that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge wants a second round of oral arguments in the case, but the same-sex couples who challenged the ban do not.