LSU Law Graduate Bernette J. Johnson Sworn in as Chief Justice of Louisiana Supreme Court

Ceremonies marking the historic investiture of Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, a 1969 graduate of the LSU Law Center, were held on Thursday, February 28.  Chief Justice Johnson is the first African American Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and the 25th Chief Justice to serve in the role. 

The investiture ceremony took place on the steps of the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans.  Justice Johnson took the official oath of office in a courtroom ceremony held on February 1.  She succeeds retiring Chief Justice Catherine D. “Kitty” Kimball (LSU Law 1970), who served as the Court’s first female Chief Justice.

“On behalf of the entire LSU Law family, I offer my congratulations and best wishes to Chief Justice Johnson,” said LSU Law Chancellor Jack M. Weiss, who attended the February 28 ceremony.  “She has served the Court and the legal community with dedication and distinction.  We are proud to claim Chief Justice Johnson as a “law Tiger.”  We look forward to working with Chief Justice Johnson as she seeks to improve our state’s system of justice for the benefit of all of our citizens.” 

Chief Justice Johnson’s judicial career began in 1984 when she was elected to the Civil District Court of New Orleans, becoming 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. 

Of the seven justices on the Louisiana Supreme Court, four other sitting Justices are graduates of the LSU Law Center, including the Honorable John Weimer (1980), Honorable Greg Guidry (1975), Honorable Marcus Clark (1985), and  Honorable Jefferson Hughes (1978).

Link to full biography of Chief Justice Johnson.