Former Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Hannah, who led the court as it tackled high-profile cases involving voter ID, gay marriage and school funding, has died. He was 71.
The state Supreme Court announced that Hannah died Thursday. Hannah had stepped down from the court last year due to unspecified health problems. The court did not give a cause of death.
Hannah was elected to the state Supreme Court in 2000 and was elected chief justice in 2004. He was re-elected to a full eight-year term in 2008.
Hannah and another justice earlier last year accused other members of the court of delaying the lawsuit over Arkansas' gay marriage ban by creating a separate case over which justices could hear the appeal.
In a statement, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said:
The State of Arkansas will miss Chief Justice Hannah in more ways than one. Not only will his record of service to the state as Chief Justice be long remembered, but it was clear to all that knew him that he conducted his life with honor and dignity. From a personal standpoint, Justice Hannah swore me in as Governor – a memory my family and I will always treasure. Today we mourn his loss and pray for his family in this difficult time.