Courts And Community: Judge Andree Layton Roaf
Judge Andree Layton Roaf was the first African-American woman on the Arkansas Supreme Court.
She was appointed to serve out the term of a retiring justice from 1996 until 1997. In 1997 Gov. Mike Huckabee appointed her to the Arkansas Court of Appeals, the state's second-highest court, where she served until 2006.
During her swearing-in ceremony, she recalled that when she arrived in Arkansas in 1969, "you could count the African-American attorneys on one hand and still have fingers left over." Judge Roaf also recalled that her wedding announcement was once rejected as unsuitable and unacceptable by the local Pine Bluff newspaper.
In the 1997 speech, she said she thought the Court of Appeals exemplified true diversity with three women and three African-Americans on the 12-member body at that time. Roaf passed away in 2009