LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas' governor has named seven special justices to hear an effort by members of the state Supreme Court to halt ethics charges they face for their decision to prevent a judge who participated in a death penalty demonstration from handling any execution-related cases.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed seven people Thursday to fill in for the justices, who have filed a lawsuit challenging a disciplinary panel's decision to charge them with ethics violations.

Bennett Nolan of Fort Smith was one of the seven people appointed as a special associate justice by Hutchinson.

The justices last year disqualified Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen from execution cases after he was photographed strapped to a cot outside the governor's mansion the same day he prevented Arkansas from using a lethal injection drug. The panel says the high court never gave Griffen notice or an opportunity to be heard over his removal.