ST. LOUIS — William Jay Riley, chief judge of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, stepped down March 10 from his position and will be succeeded by Lavenski R. Smith of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Riley, of Omaha, Nebraska, served as chief judge since 2010. He will remain in active service on the court.
Smith is the first African-American to serve as chief judge of the circuit.
He was nominated to the court by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2002.
Smith graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law.