October 2012 (To print, click the print icon on your browser
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Bernette Johnson is Louisiana's First African American Chief Justice

The Huffington Post reports that Johnson was elected in 1994 to the state appeals court and was assigned to the Louisiana Supreme Court as part of a settlement that claimed the system for electing justices diluted black voting strength and violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

She served as an eighth Supreme Court justice until 2000, when the court reverted back to seven justices. She was elected to the high court that year as one of the seven judges.

Critics charged that her years as the eighth Supreme Court justice should not count towards seniority. The controversy was laid to rest with the court’s decision to honor her years of service to New Orleans.


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