Chief Justice

LA Afternoon News

Aug 16, 2012

US court hears arguments over chief justice choice

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An overflow crowd heard attorneys for the only African-American on the Louisiana Supreme Court argue she should be its next chief justice.

James Williams told U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan that Bernette Johnson has served longer than any other justice, and that's what the state constitution requires to be chief justice.

A Louisiana Supreme Court justice is suing to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is legally entitled to become the court's next chief justice.

A federal suit filed Thursday on behalf of Justice Bernette Johnson says she is next in line for the job because she qualifies as the court's longest-serving justice.

But Justice Jeffrey Victory also has staked a claim to succeeding Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball, who retires next year.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court is retiring. Catherine Kimball says that she will leave the court in January after serving for 20 years. Kimball's term runs until 2018.