Louisiana Supreme Court
1:09 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

State appeals ruling in La. Chief justice spat

The State of Louisiana is appealing a judge's ruling that Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson has the seniority that entitles her to become the court's next chief justice.

Friday's court filing by a lawyer representing Gov. Bobby Jindal's office asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan's ruling. Morgan sided with Johnson's bid to become the state's first black chief justice and succeed Justice Catherine Kimball when she retires in 2013.

Johnson had sued to block her colleagues from deciding the matter.

Elected in 1994, Johnson initially filled an appeal court seat but was assigned to serve on the Supreme Court full-time under a civil rights lawsuit settlement. Some argued that Justice Jeffery Victory, elected in 1995, has served longer than Johnson.

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