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Appointment creates first conversative majority on Arkansas Supreme Court

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(The Center Square) – Cody Hiland, a former state and federal prosecutor, has been appointed to the Arkansas Supreme Court, giving the bench a conservative majority for the first time.

Hiland was appointed by Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders to replace Justice Robin F. Wynn, who died June 21.

Hiland served as prosecuting attorney for the 20th judicial circuit before the U.S. Senate unanimously approved him as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, a position he held from 2017 to 2020.

He was chief legal counsel for the Arkansas Department of Public Safety before stepping down to join Sanders’ gubernatorial campaign. Hiland has been serving as chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas.

He will serve on the Supreme Court until January 2025, after the 2024 judicial elections.

“Cody comes from the same mold as some of the finest jurists we have in the country today, the same legal minds who are finally bringing back strict originalism to our courts,” Sanders said. “This is the first time Arkansas’ Supreme Court will have a conservative majority and I know it will have the same effect on our state as it has had on our country.”

The state Supreme Court ruled in the state’s favor when it appealed a restraining order on the Arkansas LEARNS Act. The court could have another chance to rule on the subject.

Attorney General Tim Griffin said he is appealing a decision by Pulaski County Superior Court Judge Herbert Wright that invalidates LEARNS until Aug. 1. Wright ruled last week the Legislature did not pass a separate emergency clause that would have made the bill effective immediately.

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