Gov. Mike Beebe has appointed Ron Sheffield to the Arkansas Supreme Court to replace Bill Bowen, who resigned this week after only one week on the bench because of a minor stroke.
Sheffield, 64, a former deputy state insurance commissioner, has served as a special justice on the Supreme Court.
The governor’s news release doesn’t say so, but Sheffield is black. When Beebe appointed Bowen, 86, to the seat earlier, he was criticized by former Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen for failing to appoint a black to the all-white court. Beebe had said then that he’d first asked several black lawyers to take the job, but had been turned down.
Sheffield is to serve a year to complete the term of Justice Annabelle Imber, who retired.