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Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has made history once again in her state. Sanders appointed Cody Hiland to the state Supreme Court, giving Republicans control of the state supreme court for the first time.
“State Republicans last year elected the 51-year-old Hiland as chairman of the state party. From 2017 to 2020, he served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas following his appointment by then-President Donald Trump,” the report detailed. “Hiland also served as legal counsel for the Arkansas Department of Public Safety and prosecutor for the 20th Judicial District of Arkansas.”
He was also active in Sanders’ successful gubernatorial campaign when she became the state’s first female governor.
“Today, I appointed former prosecutor and U.S. attorney Cody Hiland to the Arkansas Supreme Court — marking the first time the Court will have a conservative majority. Cody brings decades of legal experience to the job — and I am confident he will serve our state well,” Sanders said.
“This is the first time the 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,” Sanders said. “He will be there to call balls and strikes, interpreting state law as it is written and leaving the legislating to the Legislature.”
Hiland said he was humbled by the opportunity, adding, “My prayer is at the end of this term people will say that I brought honor to the title of associate Supreme Court justice.”
“Hiland had been nominated as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas by President Donald Trump in 2017 and served in that position through 2020. He is a former state prosecutor and has served as state GOP chairman since December. He also worked on Sanders’ campaign for governor as a senior adviser,” the report noted.
“Hiland joined the court as the state is appealing a judge’s decision to block enforcement of Sanders’ education overhaul until Aug. 1. The Pulaski County circuit judge ruled that lawmakers didn’t follow correct procedures for the law to take effect immediately after Sanders signed it,” the outlet added.
Sanders appointed Hiland following Justice Robin Wynne’s recent passing from leukemia at the age of 70.
Arkansas U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R) said Hiland’s appointment was “an outstanding selection” in a tweet.
“Cody Hiland is a good friend who is fair, impartial, and will apply the law without favor,” he noted. “A great day for Arkansas.”
Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin described Hiland as “an outstanding appointment.”
“Congratulations to Associate Justice Cody Hiland! Cody’s experience as a U.S. Attorney and many years of both public service and private practice will serve him well on the Arkansas Supreme Court. He is an outstanding appointment!” he tweeted.
Last month, Sanders vowed to fight back after a federal judge appointed by Barack Obama struck down a state law aimed at regulating transgender treatment, including sex-change surgeries for children.
In citing U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr.’s ruling, the freshman GOP governor and former Trump White House press secretary slammed him for “pushing a political agenda at the expense of our kids” after he blocked the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act from taking effect.
“Rather than protecting children or safeguarding medical ethics, the evidence showed that the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and well-being of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the state undermined the interests it claims to be advancing,” he wrote in his ruling.
But Sanders and other state Republican officials pushed back, claiming that the judge’s decision was political, not science- or healthcare-based.
“This is not ‘care’– it’s activists pushing a political agenda at the expense of our kids and subjecting them to permanent and harmful procedures,” Sanders said. “Only in the far-Left’s woke vision of America is it not appropriate to protect children.”