Arkansas’s highest court is the Arkansas Supreme Court. The court has six associate justices and one chief justice. Chief justices serve eight-year terms and are selected by popular vote. (Source: Arkansas Supreme Court; Arkansas Constitution)

Judicial Selection

Justices run for an eight-year term on the Arkansas Supreme Court in nonpartisan elections, and they can seek additional terms through nonpartisan elections. When a seat opens in the middle of a justice’s term, the governor chooses a candidate to fill the seat. If the open seat would have been filled in the regular course at Arkansas’s next general election had no vacancy occurred, the appointed justice serves the remainder of the unexpired term. However, if the open seat would not have been filled in the regular course at the next general election, the appointed justice holds office until the next general election if the vacancy occurs more than four months prior to the election or the second succeeding general election if the vacancy occurs less than four months before the election. There are no term limits, but justices lose their retirement benefits if elected or appointed to judicial office after age 70.

State Constitution

Arkansas has had five constitutions adopted between 1836 and 1874. As of January 1, 2024, it had 110 amendments.(Source: John Dinan, 2024)

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