Judges

Subcategories:
  • No categories
Clear

Entries - Entry Category: Judges - Starting with H

Hannah, James Robert (Jim)

James Robert (Jim) Hannah was a popular jurist who, as chief justice, led the Arkansas Supreme Court through a tumultuous period early in the twenty-first century. Hannah, who was known for his dignity and soft-spoken leadership, spent more than thirty-six years as a trial court judge and Supreme Court justice. When deeply divisive political issues reached the court after his election as chief justice in 2004, however, he could not prevent a fracture among the justices. Jim Hannah was born on December 26, 1944, at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Long Beach, California, to Frank Alvin Hannah, who was an officer in the U.S. Navy, and Virginia Marie Stine Hannah. His father was stationed in California and Miami, Florida, in …

Harris, Carleton

Carleton Harris was a lawyer and politician who was chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court during a tumultuous period in Arkansas political and judicial history. When he was elected to the court in 1956, Harris was the youngest chief justice in the nation; he served in the position for twenty-three years, longer than any other Arkansan except Griffin Smith, whose seat he filled upon the judge’s death. He was elected three times to the Arkansas House of Representatives, first when he was twenty-two years old, and he was elected to one term as prosecuting attorney, to eight years on the chancery bench, and to all or parts of four terms on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Frank Carleton Harris, who …

Harris, Oren

Oren Harris served as prosecuting attorney of Arkansas’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (1937–1940) and in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Fourth Congressional District from 1941 to 1953 and, following redistricting, the Seventh Congressional District from 1953 to 1966. Harris resigned his congressional seat in February 1966 after President Lyndon Johnson appointed him U.S. district judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. Although Harris took senior status with the court in 1976, he fulfilled his promise to work until “he couldn’t put his socks on” and carried a full docket of cases for two additional decades. Oren Harris was born on a farm in Belton (Hempstead County) on December 20, 1903, to Homer Harris and Bettie Bullock Harris, …

Hart, Jesse Cleveland

Jesse Cleveland Hart was appointed associate justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1907 after the death of Justice James E. Riddick, who died of typhoid fever on October 9, 1907, while in office. Hart served as an associate justice until 1927, when he was appointed chief justice following the resignation of Chief Justice Edgar A. McCulloch. Hart served as chief justice until his death in 1933. Jesse C. Hart was born in a two-story log home near Dardanelle (Yell County) on July 25, 1864. Hart was the second of seven children of James E. Hart, who was a physician, and Sarah Stone, both pioneers of Yell County. His mother, a talented and educated woman whose own father was a …

Hays, Marion Steele

Steele Hays was a lawyer—and son of one of Arkansas’s most enduring and successful politicians—who spent the last fourteen years of his long legal career as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. His father, Brooks Hays, a Democratic congressman from Arkansas, was renowned in the post–World War II years for his moderation in the struggle over racial segregation in the South. Steele Hays was more avowedly liberal on race and other issues, dissenting alone from upholding the death sentence on every such case that came before the Supreme Court. Marion Steele Hays was born on March 25, 1925, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), one of two children of Brooks Hays and Marion Prather Hays. He was named after his mother …

Hemingway, Wilson Edwin

Wilson E. Hemingway was an influential figure in Arkansas’s legal community in the later part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century, including brief service on the Arkansas Supreme Court. As an attorney, judge, and corporate leader, he had a sizable impact on Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Arkansas politics, law, and business. Wilson Edwin Hemingway was born on January 4, 1854, in Carrollton, Mississippi, to William Hemingway and Sarah Wesley Jenkins Hemingway. He grew up in Mississippi and spent two years at the University of Mississippi before spending another two at the University of Georgia. He does not appear to have earned a degree from either school. Hemingway taught school from 1872 to 1873, while also …

Henley, Jesse Smith

Jesse Smith Henley presided over a number of desegregation cases but was most noted for reforming the state prison system and being the first federal judge in the country to declare an entire state penitentiary in violation of the Eighth Amendment. J. Smith Henley was born on May 18, 1917, in St. Joe (Searcy County) into a family of lawyers. He had an older brother named Ben and a sister named Wordna (or Wardna). Far from a model student, Henley never formally graduated from high school and seems to have been thrown out of college once. However, he did earn his law degree at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1941. He practiced law …

Hickman, Darrell David

Darrell David Hickman spent almost twenty-two years as a trial-court judge and justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Hickman, who grew up in Searcy (White County), was first elected chancery judge in a district that stretched to Little Rock (Pulaski County) and was elected twice to the Arkansas Supreme Court before retiring in 1990 to follow the seasons and travel from the Canadian Rockies to Mexico and back. He soon returned to Searcy and the town of Pangburn (White County), where he served two more stints as a chancery or circuit judge. Hickman had a propensity for issuing convulsive orders, such as when he declared the Constitutional Convention of 1975 unconstitutional, and for writing colorful opinions, such as when he …

Holt, Jack Wilson, Jr.

Jack Wilson Holt Jr. was chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court for ten years, and his landmark lawsuit against the Arkansas penitentiary caused the entire Arkansas prison system to be declared unconstitutional in 1970, triggering judicially inspired prison reforms in many states. Jack Holt Jr. was born Samuel Wilson Holt on May 18, 1929, in Harrison (Boone County) to Jack Wilson Holt Sr. and Margaret Spikes Holt; he had a younger sister. He insisted that his parents change his name to Jack because children teased him that he had a girl’s name, Sammie. In 1928, his father was elected prosecuting attorney and, in 1934, circuit judge for the Fourteenth Circuit. His father was elected attorney general in 1936, and …

Holt, Jack Wilson, Sr.

Jack Wilson Holt Sr. was an eminent Arkansas politician for two decades in the mid-twentieth century. He was attorney general for three terms before World War II but lost three bitter races for governor and U.S. senator to the dominant politicians of the postwar era—John L. McClellan, Sid McMath, and Francis Cherry. Jack Holt, one of eleven children of Bud and Adeline Holt, was born on February 7, 1903, on his family’s farm along Crooked Creek north of Harrison (Boone County). He entered the first grade at a one-room school at Walnut Grove and graduated from Harrison High School, where he was a basketball and track star. He often rode a pony into town to attend high school. Holt received …

Holt, Joseph Frank

J. Frank Holt was a major figure in Arkansas legal and political circles in the 1950s and 1960s. He served in numerous public offices, including two terms on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Joseph Franklin Holt was born on October 22, 1910, in Harrison (Boone County). One of eleven children of Noah Calvin “Bud” Holt and Malicia Adeline Moore Holt, he grew up in Harrison, where he sold newspapers and worked in a garage while in high school before attending the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). He had to drop out of college and return home due to the Great Depression. He worked a variety of jobs, including selling insurance, teaching in the Cotter (Baxter County) school district, …

Hoofman, Clifton Howard (Cliff)

Clifton Howard (Cliff) Hoofman, who was reared by grandparents on tenant farms in White County, became a lawyer and politician and held constitutional offices in all three branches of state government. He served in the Arkansas House of Representatives for eight years, the Arkansas Senate for twenty years, four years as a state highway commissioner, and two years on the Arkansas Supreme Court; he also had two separate sojourns of two years each on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. As a close friend and ally of two governors, Bill Clinton and Mike Beebe, Hoofman was instrumental in passing much of the major legislation enacted during their combined twenty years in the governor’s office. Cliff Hoofman was born on June 23, …

Howard, George, Jr.

George Howard Jr. was a trailblazing African-American attorney and judge in the second half of the twentieth century. After becoming one of the first black graduates of the University of Arkansas School of Law, he pursued a career dedicated to the expansion and guarantee of civil rights for all citizens. He became the first African American to be appointed to numerous Arkansas judicial posts, including the Supreme Court of Arkansas. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1994. George Howard Jr. was born on May 13, 1924, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) to George Howard and Sara Howard, who was a public school teacher. He received his early education in Pine Bluff but left home to serve …