First female chief justice takes oath today

(January 5, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- After almost 168 years of statehood, Arkansas' highest court will be headed by a woman. Betty Dickey is to be sworn in today as chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Governor Huckabee appointed the former prosecutor and state utility regulator to the post to serve as interim chief justice, replacing Justice Dub Arnold who resigned. The 63-year-old Dickey has been serving as Huckabee's chief legal counsel. She will be chief justice through this year, and will not be eligible to run for the post in the November election because she was appointed to the position.