Johnson Files Suit To Become Next Chief Justice - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Johnson Files Suit To Become Next Chief Justice

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NEW ORLEANS, La. – Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, who has served as an associate justice on the Louisiana Supreme Court for nearly two decades, has filed a suit in bid to become next chief justice.

The office of chief justice will be vacant next February upon the retirement of current Chief Justice Catherine D. Kimball.

According to the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Johnson is a member of a small club of African American jurists to serve on the state's highest court: Justice Jesse Stone was appointed to briefly serve in 1979. Justice Revius Ortique was elected to a seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1992. 

First elected to the state's highest court in 1994, Johnson is the second longest serving judge currently on the bench. In accordance with the Louisiana constitution, Johnson is the justice next in line for the office of Chief Justice upon the retirement of the current chief.

Though the state constitution is clear, Kimball, the retiring chief justice, has called for a hearing to determine who will succeed her. She has also issued an order recusing Johnson from sitting on the panel who will determine how the matter will be settled.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report. 

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