Arkansas Supreme Court

A Hot Springs man is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to revive his lawsuit challenging a university's loan to the Oxford American magazine, arguing the textbook revenues and other cash used to pay for the loan are public funds.

Justices heard oral arguments Thursday in James McCafferty's appeal of a lower court's dismissal of his lawsuit challenging the University of Central Arkansas' $700,000 loan to the magazine.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is to hear oral arguments Thursday in a case in which a citizen accuses the Oxford American Magazine of illegally spending public money.


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.

Fort Smith attorney Brad Jesson, who served as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court and was one of the early political supporters of an unknown Dale Bumpers, has passed away. He was 83, and would have been 84 on Jan. 26.

Little Rock School District buses

The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won't reconsider its decision that the state Department of Education can't be sued over its takeover of the Little Rock School District.

Justices on Thursday denied a petition to rehear its October ruling granting the state's appeal of a lower court's decision. A Pulaski County Circuit Court judge in March denied the state's request to dismiss the lawsuit, ruling the state could be sued for its decision to take over the Little Rock district and dissolve its school board.

The state Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

The Arkansas Supreme Court kept the state from having to disclose where it gets its three execution drugs on Friday, temporarily putting on hold a lower-court's order to make that information public. It's the latest in the long, multifaceted legal battle over the constitutionality of Arkansas' execution law.

Here are key dates to know:

Nov. 28, 2005 - Eric Nance, convicted of killing an 18-year-old woman, is the last person to be executed in Arkansas before the legal wrangling begins.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has granted the state's request to put on hold a mandate to turn over information about the source of its execution drugs.

The temporary stay was issued about an hour before a noon Friday deadline set by Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen, who ruled the day before that the state must disclose the information.

The Arkansas attorney general's office asked for the stay and also has filed a notice that it will appeal Griffen's ruling. 

Arkansas' highest court has again tossed the murder conviction of a Lincoln County man in a 2011 shooting death, ruling a lower court didn't have the authority to try him on a lesser charge after the original case was dismissed.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday reversed and dismissed the first-degree murder conviction of Justin Jamaille Thornton in the shooting death of Kwame Turner. Thornton had been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Arkansas' highest court says a lawsuit by a group of Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs employees who claim they weren't paid for meal breaks they were required to work shouldn't be a class-action case.

The Arkansas Parole Board has notified the attorneys for four Arkansas death row inmates that approaching deadlines to apply for executive clemency have been suspended.

Board spokesman Solomon Graves confirmed in an email Monday that the deadlines are suspended for the four inmates, who had been scheduled for execution on Dec. 14 and Jan. 14. Graves says the decision was made because of a temporary restraining order placed on those executions by the Arkansas Supreme Court last month.