TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) – New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday he would nominate Fabiana Pierre-Louis to the state Supreme Court, making her the first black woman to hold the post if she’s confirmed. Pierre-Louis would succeed Walter Timpone, who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in November.
“Tomorrow, I will submit Fabiana’s name to the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee, and I look forward to their review, and upon their approval, to Fabiana’s formal nomination,” the governor said.
Murphy, a Democrat, said that Pierre-Louis would not only succeed Timpone, but John Wallace, who was the last black judge to hold a seat on the high court. Wallace was not nominated for lifetime tenure in 2010.
Pierre-Louis is a partner at Montgomery McCracken in Cherry Hill, where she is in the white-collar and government investigations practice.
Before that, she served for nearly a decade as an Assistant United States Attorney in New Jersey and was the attorney-in-charge of the Camden branch office. She was the first woman of color to hold such a position, according to her biography on Montgomery McCracken’s website.
“I have spent my entire legal career in New Jersey, both private practice, and in government service as an Assistant United States Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Pierre-Louis said. “It is extremely humbling to have the opportunity to continue the proud tradition of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s commitment to justice, equality, and fairness. I would like to thank Governor Murphy for this honor, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of New Jersey.”
Republican Gov. Chris Christie nominated Timpone in 2016 to the state’s highest court. Justices are required by law to retire at age 70.
Pierre-Louis is Murphy’s first pick for the high court. The Democrat-led Senate must first confirm her.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)