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.

PositionJusticeBornElectedLaw schoolNext election
Chief JusticeDan Kemp (1951-09-08) September 8, 1951 (age 70)2016Arkansas2024
Position 2Robin Wynne (1953-02-15) February 15, 1953 (age 68)2014Arkansas2022
Position 3Courtney Hudson1973 (age 47–48)2010Arkansas2026
Position 4Barbara Webb1956/1957 (age 63–64)2020Arkansas2028
Position 5Shawn Womack (1972-08-13) August 13, 1972 (age 49)2016Arkansas2024
Position 6Karen Baker2010UA Little Rock2022
Position 7Rhonda Wood (1969-12-10) December 10, 1969 (age 51)2014UA Little Rock2022

Further reading

  • 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