List of Justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court

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Seal of the Supreme Court of Arkansas

The following is a list of Justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Article VI, Section 1, of the Arkansas Constitution of 1836 established a Supreme Court; Section 2 declared it would consist of three judges, including a Chief Justice.[1]

The Reconstruction Constitution of 1868, which placed the state under military control, added two justices; the Arkansas Constitution of 1874 rolled back the expansion, but stipulated that once the population of the state should "amount to one million, the General Assembly may, if deemed necessary, increase the number of judges of the Supreme Court to five."[1] In 1889, the population milestone was reached, and the legislature authorized a total of five justices. Constitutional sanction of the enlargement came in 1924 with voter approval of Amendment 9, which also allowed for the future legislative creation of two additional judgeships. Act 205 of 1925 further increased the number of justices to seven.

Chief Justices[edit]

Chief Justice In office Notes[2]
Daniel Ringo 1836–1844  
Thomas Johnson 1845–1852  
George C. Watkins 1853–1854  
Elbert H. English 1855–1864 After May 6, 1861, the state was part of the Confederate States of America
Thomas D.W. Yonley 1864–1866 After April 9, 1865, the state was once again part of the USA
David Walker 1866–1868 Ousted by military commander
W.W. Wilshire 1868–1871  
John E. McClure 1871–1874 Constitution of 1868; previously an associate justice (position 5)
Elbert H. English 1874–1884  
Sterling Robertson Cockrill 1884–1893  
Henry G. Bunn 1893–1904 Appointed; subsequently elected
Joseph M. Hill 1904–1909  
Edgar A. McCulloch 1909–1927 Appointed; subsequently elected
Jesse C. Hart 1927–1933  
Cecil E. Johnson 1933–1936  
Griffin Smith 1937–1955  
Lee Seamster 1955–1956 Appointed
Carleton Harris 1957–1980
John A. Fogleman 1980 Appointed; previously an associate justice (position 6)
Richard B. Adkisson 1980–1984  
Webster Lee Hubbell 1984 Appointed by Governor Bill Clinton
Jack Holt, Jr. 1985–1995  
Bradley D. Jesson 1995–1996 Appointed
W.H. "Dub" Arnold 1997–2003  
Betty Dickey 2004 Appointed
Jim Hannah 2005–present Previously an associate justice (position 5)

Position 2 - Associate Justices[edit]

Associate Justice
(position 2)
In office Notes[2]
Townsend Dickinson 1836–1842  

Position 3 - Associate Justices[edit]

Associate Justice
(position 3)
In office Notes[2]
Thomas J. Lacy 1836–1845  
Edward Cross 1845–1846  

Position 4 - Associate Justices[edit]

Associate Justice
(position 4)
In office Notes
Carroll D. Wood 1893–1929  

Position 5 - Associate Justices[edit]

Position 6 - Associate Justices[edit]

Position 7 - Associate Justices[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b William B. Jones, Jr. (original compiler). "Arkansas Courts Historical Background". Courts Historical Background. State of Arkansas. Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b c William B. Jones, Jr. (original compiler). "Arkansas Courts Historical Background". Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of Arkansas (1836–2011). State of Arkansas. Retrieved 2012-03-27.