CONTACT PERSON: VALERIE WILLARD
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
| FEBRUARY 28, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson celebrated her investiture as Chief Justice today in a public ceremony which took place on the steps of the Louisiana Supreme Court. She is the 25th chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and the first African-American chief justice of the court since its establishment in 1813.
Marc Morial, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League noted the historical significance of the occasion, “This is a great day in Louisiana that has been long in coming. I am excited to take part in this event where the highest court in the State of Louisiana, on the eve of its 200th birthday, turns another important page in history. We gather to honor the achievements of Bernette Johnson and to also bear witness to the once unimaginable becoming the order of the day...the investiture of the first African-American Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.”
Chief Justice Johnson’s judicial career began in 1984 when she was elected to the Civil District Court of New Orleans, and was the first woman to hold that office. She was re-elected, without opposition, in 1990 and was elected Chief Judge by her colleagues in 1994. Chief Justice Johnson was elected to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1994, and was re-elected, without opposition, in 2000 and 2010. She represents the Seventh Supreme Court District which includes Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Carl Stewart administered the ceremonial oath of office which was followed by a 17 gun salute presented by the 1-141st Field Artillery Battalion of the Washington Artillery of New Orleans. Chief Justice Johnson took her official oath of office February 1, 2013 in a courtroom ceremony.
A number of state and local public officials took part in honoring Chief Justice Johnson including: U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu; Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell; State Senator Edwin Murray; State Representative Katrina Jackson; State Representative Walter Leger and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Also participating in the historic ceremony were representatives from several professional organizations: John Page, President, National Bar Association; Judge Joan V. Churchill, National Association of Women Judges; John Musser, IV, President, Louisiana Bar Association; and R. Patrick Vance, Past-President, New Orleans Bar Association. Judge Ivan Lemelle, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, and Judge Edwin Lombard represented the judiciary.
- 30 -