Present Chief Justice Catherine D. Kimball of the Louisiana Supreme Court retires on January 31, 2013, and it looks as though this is Justice Jeannette Theriot Knoll’s chance to get on the top of the ladder of the State’s highest court. Associate Justice Knoll prosecuted Vincent Simmons in 1977.
Under Article V, Section 6 of the Louisiana Constitution, the “judge oldest in point of service on the supreme court shall be chief justice.” However, Chief Justice Kimball writes in her order of June 13, 2012, that “contrary legal positions have been expressed.”
Chief Justice Kimball has ordered the sitting Justices to file their opinions and factual matters with the Clerk of Court no later than July 31, 2012. The three associate justices “oldest in point of service” are recused. They are:
- Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson (in office since October 31, 1994)
- Justice Jeannette Theriot Knoll (in office since January 1, 1997)
- Justice Jeffrey P. Victory (in office since January 1, 1995)
“Any responses by a sitting Justice shall be filed with the Clerk of Court by August 15, 2012,” determines the Chief Justice.
The Amendment of July 20, 2012 concerning the new deadline is available at http://www.lasc.org/opinions/2012/2012O1342.pdf .
Also read Hon. Bernette Joshua Johnson first African-American chief justice on Louisiana’s Supreme Court of October 17, 2012.