Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen made his arguments this morning before the Arkansas Supreme Court in hope of having an ethical admonishment overturned. Griffen drew the disciplinary letter for publicly decrying the pace of racial diversity at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Griffen argued today that a rule restricting a judge from exerting influence on another branch of government cannot prohibit a jurist from speaking in his own behalf on matters of public interest. The state contends that Griffen violated a judicial code of conduct against lobbying the Legislature. He urged members of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus to use the budget to express displeasure with what he sees as a lack of progress at the university in diversifying the faculty and administration. The court did not issue an immediate ruling. ------ The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, following a four-to-three decision November 15th, issued a letter of admonition to Griffen for comments he made at a March 2002 hearing conducted by the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus.