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Karen R. Baker

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Karen R. Baker
Baker, karen.jpg
Current Court Information:
Arkansas Supreme Court
Title:   Associate justice
Position:   Position 6
Salary:  $
Active:   2011-2023
Preceded by:   Annabelle Clinton Imber
Past position:   Arkansas Court of Appeals
Past term:   2000-2010
Past position 2:   Judge, Arkansas Twentieth Judicial District
Past term 2:   1995-2000
Personal History
Hometown:   Van Buren, Arkansas
Undergraduate:   Arkansas Tech University, 1983
Law School:   University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law School, 1987
Candidate 2014:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
Position:  Position 6
State:  Arkansas
Election information 2014:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  5/20/2014
Election vote:  100%ApprovedA

Karen R. Baker is an associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. She won re-election to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2014, after running unopposed.[1] Her term will expire at the end of 2023.[2][3] She was first elected in 2010 and sworn into office on January 10, 2011.[4]



For in-depth coverage of the state's high court races, see: Arkansas Supreme Court elections, 2014
See also: Arkansas judicial elections, 2014
Baker ran for re-election to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
General: She won without opposition in the general election on May 20, 2014.[1][3]

In announcing her candidacy, Baker said,

I consider it a privilege to serve the citizens of the State of Arkansas and wish to continue on the court of last resort for all Arkansans. . .[5]

—Justice Karen R. Baker[6]


Arkansas Supreme Court, Associate Justice, Position 6
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Karen Baker BallotCheckMark.png 206,365 48.4%
Tim Fox 156,953 36.8%
Evelyn Moorehead 63,450 14.9%
  • Click here for 2010 General Election Results from the Arkansas Secretary of State.
See: Arkansas Supreme Court elections and Arkansas judicial elections, 2010 for more information.

Campaign funding promise

During her 2010 campaign, Baker announced she would not accept campaign donations from lawyers who were practicing before her at the court of appeals. She called on her opponent Tim Fox to do the same. She stated: "I simply don’t feel it would be proper to accept contributions from private attorneys who appear before my court. It is a small step, but I believe it is an important one."[7]


Baker earned her undergraduate degree from Arkansas Tech University in 1983, and her J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law School in 1987.[4]


Awards and associations

  • Assistant Editor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, Law Journal
  • Member, Arkansas Judicial Council
  • Member, Arkansas Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Van Buren/Searcy County Bar Association
  • Past President, Van Buren/Searcy County Bar Association
  • Member, Faulkner County Bar Association
  • Member, Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers
  • Member, University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, Law Journal
  • Assistant casenote editor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, Law Journal
  • Member, Survey of Arkansas Workers Compensation Law
  • Supreme court liaison, Arkansas Continuing Legal Education Board
  • Supreme court liaison, Arkansas Professional Practicum Committee[4]

Notable cases

Water fees

The Arkansas Supreme Court agreed with a circuit court ruling upholding a fee for residents of Hot Springs. Two taxpayers challenged the water bill fee, stating that the additional monetary requirement was actually a tax, which would need to be approved by the public. Justice Karen Baker differentiated between the two in the opinion, saying, "Taxing power is usually exercised to provide funding for public services at large, while police power is usually exercised to cover the cost of administering a regulatory scheme or providing a service."[8]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Baker received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.63, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.48 that justices received in Arkansas. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[9]

See also

External links


ArkansasArkansas Supreme CourtArkansas Court of AppealsArkansas Circuit CourtsArkansas District CourtsArkansas City CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of ArkansasUnited States District Court for the Western District of ArkansasUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern and Western Districts of ArkansasUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitArkansas countiesArkansas judicial newsArkansas judicial electionsJudicial selection in ArkansasArkansasTemplate.jpg