Judicial Ethics Professor Named Chief Justice Of Arkansas Supreme Court

Aug 25, 2015

Newly appointed Chief Justice Howard Brill and his wife Katherine greet Arkansas Supreme Court Justices after Governor Asa Hutchinson's announcement.

Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed University of Arkansas judicial ethics professor Howard Brill as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court Tuesday.

Brill has taught law for 40 years and served as a special justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. He said his judicial philosophy is one of restraint and adherence to the law.

“My decisions, and I think the decisions of all judges, are based upon the U.S. constitution and the Arkansas Constitution, statutes passed by the General Assembly, rules adopted by the court, and the case law that our judges have handed down since 1836," he said.

Hutchinson said Brill is one of 12 candidates he considered for the position. He said Brill is a respected legal scholar and has the right philosophy and temperament to lead the court.

“That’s a conversation I had with professor Brill and others, ‘what’s your judicial philosophy?’ But also, [we]talked about the importance of the court in terms of its relationship, in terms of being able to build consensus.”

Brill will serve a year and-a-half term as Chief Justice and cannot seek re-election. Former Chief Justice Jim Hannah announced an early resignation last month for health reasons.