Bernette Johnson Becomes Louisiana’s First African American Supreme Court Chief Justice

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Bernette Johnson has been sworn in as Louisiana’s first African American Supreme Court Chief Justice, succeeding Catherine (Kitty) Kimball. Chief Justice Johnson filed a federal lawsuit last year after Justice Jeffrey Victory claimed that he had more seniority than she did and should assume the position of Chief Justice. The dispute arose because CJ Johnson had served as an appointed justice of the Court as well as an elected Justice, and Justice Victory argued that the years for which she had been appointed should not count toward her years of seniority on the Court. The remaining Justices finally decided that total years of service, not merely elected years, should count toward seniority.

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