As Max reported two weeks ago, Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Hannah will be retiring early, due to health issues. Hannah made a public statement today.
Here’s the full statement from the chief:
The people of Arkansas elected me to our state’s highest court in year 2000. I will be forever grateful. It is with great pride and pleasure that I have served on the Arkansas Supreme Court for over fourteen years, the last ten in the role of Chief Justice. In recent weeks I have been challenged by a significant health issue. Having the utmost respect for my job as Chief Justice and the business of the court, I have made a decision to tender my resignation effective at the end of August 31, 2015 to focus full-time on addressing my immediate health condition. There is no greater honor that a person can receive than to have another person place his or her trust and confidence in you. I want to thank the people of Arkansas who placed their trust and confidence in me and allowed me to serve them on their Arkansas Supreme Court. I sincerely appreciate the excellent staff that has worked with me. I have been privileged to work with some of the best district court judges, circuit court judges, appellate court judges, and justices in the country. I have also been privileged to work with our excellent Administrative Office of the Courts, it’s leadership and dedicated employees. Lastly, thank you to my wife Pat for her sacrifice and support.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has issued a statement in response to Hannah’s announcement:
Chief Justice Jim Hannah is a highly respected attorney and judge. Through his service as a prosecuting attorney, city attorney, juvenile judge, chancery and probate judge, justice and now chief justice, Jim Hannah has served the people of Arkansas with humility and wisdom. Chief Justice Hannah consistently provided a fair and impartial approach to any question or case brought before him, and his leadership of the Court will be greatly missed. 1 Peter 5:7 says, ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’ I pray that the Lord will bring strength and courage to Chief Justice Hannah and his wife, Pat, during this time, and I wish him a full and speedy recovery.
UPDATE, 4:18 p.m.: The governor also weighs in with a brief statement:
I spoke to the Chief Justice yesterday and received his official resignation earlier today. I thanked him for his extraordinary service to our state, while representing the finest of the legal tradition in his many years of public service.
Even in his resignation, the Chief Justice has placed the courts and the people of Arkansas above his personal interests, and, while I recognize this is a tough decision for him to make, he made it for the right reasons and we are forever grateful for his dedication to the rule of law.