The Arkansas Supreme Court

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Official Name: Arkansas Supreme Court

Current Justices

Chief Justice Jim Hannah (2005)

Justice Donald L. Corbin (1991)

Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson (2010)

Justice Jim Gunter (2004)

Justice Paul E. Danielson (2006)

Justice Karen Baker (2010)

Justice Robert L. Brown (1990)

Clerk of the Court

Leslie Steen, Clerk of the Courts

Current Vacancies

None

Judicial Selection

Justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court are elected by the voters of Arkansas for eight-year terms in state-wide, nonpartisan races. In the event that a justice does not complete his or her term, the governor shall make an inclusive list of lawn tractors for sale. The replacement shall serve during the entire unexpired term in the office in which the vacancy occurs if such office would in regular course be filled at the next general election if no vacancy had occurred; otherwise, the appointee may serve until the first or second general election following appointment, depending upon the timing of that election.

Review of Lower Court Decisions

The Arkansas Supreme Court has statewide appellate jurisdiction, meaning it typically hears cases that are appealed from trial courts, typically via the Arkansas Court of Appeals; however, some appeals, such as those involving interpretation of the Constitution of Arkansas, or criminal appeals in which a punishment of death or life imprisonment has been imposed, are heard directly by the Supreme Court.

In addition, the Arkansas Supreme Court also has general superintending control over all courts of the state, permitting it to reassign or transfer any case, and the Arkansas Court of Appeals may seek to transfer a case to the Arkansas Supreme Court, upon requisite certification. Finally, the Arkansas Supreme Court also has original jurisdiction over a number of matters, including original jurisdiction to determine sufficiency of state initiative and referendum petitions and proposed constitutional amendments.

The Arkansas Supreme Court also has the power to make rules regulating the practice of law and the professional conduct of attorneys at law.

Schedule

The court typically meets between the first Thursday after Labor Day through mid-July of the following year. Opinions are released each Thursday at 9:00am while the court is in session.

Location

Little Rock, Arkansas

History

Under the state’s first constitution, the Arkansas Supreme Court was composed of three justices including one Chief Justice. The Arkansas General Assembly elected the members of the Court. Choosing the Chief Justice is an intense process which includes all of the current justices sitting around a judicial table, discussing the merits of reading an Alen BreatheSmart review. Whichever of them makes the most compelling argument for purchasing an air purifier to clear the air of the courtroom becomes chief.

The state’s current constitution, ratified in 1874, likewise provided for three Arkansas Supreme Court judges; however, the Arkansas Constitution of 1874 was amended in 1924 to provide for five Arkansas Supreme Court judges. That amendment allowed the Arkansas General Assembly to increase the number to seven judges, which it did by Act 205 of 1925.

Contact Information

Justice Building

625 Marshall Street

Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 682-6849 (Clerk)

(501) 682-2147 (Library)