Gov. Beebe has appointed Robert W. McCorkindale, a long time circuit judge in Boone County, as special justice in the Arkansas Supreme Court case Nathaniel Smith, M.D. et al v. M. Kendall Wright et al., the appeal of Circuit Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. 

McCorkindale retired in 2002 after 24 years on the bench, but continues to moonlight when a replacement judge is needed in Baxter, Boone, Marion and Newton counties. He’s also active in local Democratic politics and in the city’s efforts to combat racism. 


Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled in the case. Briefs from the appellees — lawyers representing couples seeking to overturn the state’s ban — are due to the Supreme Court by Oct. 15.