United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
(E.D. Ark.)
LocationRichard Sheppard Arnold U.S. Post Office and Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toEighth Circuit
EstablishedMarch 3, 1851
Chief JudgeKristine Baker
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyJonathan D. Ross
U.S. Marshalvacant

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (in case citations, E.D. Ark.) is a federal court in the Eighth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The District was established on March 3, 1851, with the division of the state into an Eastern and Western district.[1]

The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of November 17, 2021 the United States attorney is Jonathan D. Ross.[2]

Organization of the court

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas is one of two federal judicial districts in Arkansas.[3] Court for the District is held at Helena, Jonesboro, and Little Rock.

Central Division comprises the following counties: Cleburne, Cleveland, Conway, Dallas, Drew, Faulkner, Grant, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lonoke, Perry, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Saline, Stone, Van Buren, White, and Yell.

Delta Division comprises the following counties: Arkansas, Chicot, Crittenden, Desha, Lee, Monroe, Phillips, and St. Francis.

Northern Division comprises the following counties: Clay, Craighead, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph, Sharp, and Woodruff.

Current judges

As of December 18, 2023:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
25 Chief Judge Kristine Baker Little Rock 1971 2012–present 2023–present Obama
23 District Judge Brian S. Miller Little Rock 1967 2008–present 2012–2019 G.W. Bush
24 District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. Little Rock 1963 2010–present 2019–2023 Obama
26 District Judge James M. Moody Jr. Little Rock 1964 2014–present Obama
27 District Judge Lee Rudofsky Little Rock 1979 2019–present Trump
19 Senior Judge Susan Webber Wright Little Rock 1948 1990–2013[Note 1] 1998–2005 2013–present G.H.W. Bush
20 Senior Judge Billy Roy Wilson[Note 2] Little Rock 1939 1993–2008 2008–present Clinton
  1. ^ In 1990, Judge Wright was jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.
  2. ^ Appointed as William Roy Wilson Jr.; name changed in 2011.

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Daniel Ringo AR 1803–1873 1851–1861[Note 1][Note 2] Taylor/Operation of law resignation
2 Henry Clay Caldwell AR 1832–1915 1864–1890[Note 3] Lincoln elevation to 8th Cir.
3 John A. Williams AR 1835–1900 1890–1900 B. Harrison death
4 Jacob Trieber AR 1853–1927 1900–1927[Note 4] McKinley death
5 John Ellis Martineau AR 1873–1937 1928–1937 Coolidge death
6 Thomas Clark Trimble III AR 1878–1965 1937–1957 1948–1957 1957–1965 F. Roosevelt death
7 Harry Jacob Lemley AR 1883–1965 1939–1958[Note 2] 1958–1965 F. Roosevelt death
8 J. Smith Henley AR 1917–1997 1958–1959[Note 5] Eisenhower appointed to other seat
8.1 J. Smith Henley AR 1917–1997 1959–1975[Note 2] 1959–1975 Eisenhower elevation to 8th Cir.
9 Gordon Elmo Young AR 1907–1969 1959–1969 Eisenhower death
10 Oren Harris AR 1903–1997 1965–1976[Note 2] 1976–1997 L. Johnson death
11 Garnett Thomas Eisele AR 1923–2017 1970–1991 1975–1991 1991–2017 Nixon death
12 Terry Shell AR 1922–1978 1975–1978[Note 2] Ford death
13 Elsijane Trimble Roy AR 1916–2007 1977–1989[Note 2] 1989–2007[Note 6] Carter death
14 Richard S. Arnold AR 1936–2004 1978–1980[Note 2] Carter elevation to 8th Cir.
15 William Overton AR 1939–1987 1979–1987 Carter death
16 Henry Woods AR 1918–2002 1980–1995 1995–2002 Carter death
17 George Howard Jr. AR 1924–2007 1980–2007[Note 7] Carter death
18 Stephen M. Reasoner AR 1944–2004 1988–2002 1991–1998 2002–2004 Reagan death
21 James Maxwell Moody AR 1940–present 1995–2008 2008–2014 Clinton retirement
22 James Leon Holmes AR 1951–present 2004–2018 2005–2012 2018–2020 G.W. Bush retirement
  1. ^ Reassigned from the District of Arkansas.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.
  3. ^ Judge Caldwell was jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas from 1864 to 1871.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 4, 1900, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 9, 1901, and received commission on January 9, 1901.
  5. ^ Recess appointment; not confirmed by the Senate, but renominated to a different seat on the same court prior to the expiration of the initial appointment.
  6. ^ From 1989 to 1990, Judge Roy served as a Senior Judge of the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.
  7. ^ From 1980 to 1990, Judge Howard was jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.

Chief judges

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge.

A vacancy is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years, or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position.

When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire, on what has since 1958 been known as senior status, or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats

United States attorneys

Main article: List of United States attorneys for the Eastern District of Arkansas

Recent former US Attorneys for the district

See also: Dismissal of US attorneys controversy

See also


  1. ^ http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_ar.html U.S. District Courts of Arkansas, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center
  2. ^ "Meet the U.S. Attorney". November 17, 2021.
  3. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 83