William Overton

Judge, Deceased Person

1939 – 1987


Who was William Overton?

William Ray Overton was a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Overton was born in Malvern, Arkansas. He received a B.S./B.A. from the University of Arkansas in 1961, and an LL.B. from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1964. He was in private practice of law in Little Rock, Arkansas from 1964 to 1979.

Overton was nominated to the district court by President Jimmy Carter on March 7, 1979, to a new seat created by 92 Stat. 1629. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 10, 1979, and received his commission on May 11, 1979. Overton continued to serve on that court until his death in 1987.

He is known for his ruling on Act 590 "The Arkansas' Balanced Treatment Act" in McLean v. Arkansas, which was a law seeking to require the teaching of Creation Science in classrooms. This statute was advocated by its supporters as providing equal treatment of creation science as the Theory of Evolution in the science classrooms.

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Sep 19, 1939
Also known as
  • Judge William Overton
  • United States of America
  • University of Arkansas
  • Bachelor of Arts
Lived in
  • Arkansas
Jul 14, 1987

on July 23, 2013


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