Arkansas Supreme Court

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Supreme Court of Arkansas
Seal of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.svg
EstablishedJanuary 13, 1836
(186 years ago)
LocationLittle Rock, Arkansas
Coordinates34°44′42.6″N 92°17′27.5″W / 34.745167°N 92.290972°W / 34.745167; -92.290972Coordinates: 34°44′42.6″N 92°17′27.5″W / 34.745167°N 92.290972°W / 34.745167; -92.290972
Composition methodNon-partisan election
Authorized byConstitution of Arkansas
Appeals toSupreme Court of the United States
Judge term lengthEight years
Number of positions7 (by statute)
Chief Justice
CurrentlyDan Kemp
SinceJanuary 1, 2017 (2017-01-01)

The Supreme Court of Arkansas is the highest court in the state judiciary of Arkansas. It has ultimate and largely discretionary appellate jurisdiction over all state court cases that involve a point of state law, and original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases. The Supreme Court holds the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Arkansas Constitution. It is also able to strike down gubernatorial directives for violating either the Constitution or statutory law. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction.

Established by Article Five of the 1836 Constitution, the Supreme Court was composed of three judges, to include a chief justice, elected to eight-year terms by the General Assembly. As later set by Act 205 of 1925, it consists of the Chief Justice of Arkansas and six associate justices.[1] Justices are elected in non-partisan elections to eight-year terms, staggered to make it unlikely the Court would be replaced in a single election.[1] Vacancies are filled by gubernatorial appointment.[1]

When a vacancy occurs, the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints a new justice. Each justice has a single vote in deciding the cases argued before the Court. When in majority, the chief justice decides who writes the opinion of the court; otherwise, the most senior justice in the majority assigns the task of writing the opinion.[1]

The Court meets in the Supreme Court Building in Little Rock, Arkansas.


There are currently seven justices on the Supreme Court: Chief Justice Dan Kemp and six associate justices.

Position Justice Born Elected College Law school Next election
Chief Justice Dan Kemp (1951-09-08) September 8, 1951 (age 71) 2016 Arkansas Arkansas 2024
Associate Justice, Position 2 Robin Wynne (1953-02-15) February 15, 1953 (age 69) 2014 Harvard Arkansas 2022
Associate Justice, Position 3 Courtney Hudson 1973 (age 48–49) 2010 Arkansas Arkansas 2026
Associate Justice, Position 4 Barbara Womack Webb 1956/1957 (age 64–65) 2020 Arkansas Arkansas 2028
Associate Justice, Position 5 Shawn Womack (1972-08-13) August 13, 1972 (age 50) 2016 University of Central Arkansas Arkansas 2024
Associate Justice, Position 6 Karen Baker 2010 Arkansas Tech UA Little Rock 2022
Associate Justice, Position 7 Rhonda Wood (1969-12-10) December 10, 1969 (age 52) 2014 Hendrix College UA Little Rock 2022

Further reading[edit]

  • Distinguishing the Righteous from the Roguish: The Arkansas Supreme Court, 1836–1874 by J. W. Looney, 2016, University of Arkansas Press


  1. ^ a b c d Justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court from the official Arkansas Judiciary website

External links[edit]