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Justice rejected deal to name next La. court chief

3 years ago July 25, 2012 Jul 25, 2012 Wednesday, July 25 2012 Wednesday, July 25, 2012 2:21:44 PM CDT in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson says her colleagues don't have the authority to decide who is entitled to become the court's next chief justice.

Johnson told a panel of state lawmakers Wednesday in New Orleans that she rejected a compromise that would have forced her to wait until 2017 to become chief justice.

Johnson said Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball suggested to her that two other justices, Jeffrey Victory and Jeannette Knoll, should serve as chief justice and serve out their terms before Johnson took the position.

Johnson has sued to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she or Victory qualify as the longest-serving justice once Kimball retires next year.

The debate hinges on whether Johnson's first few years on the court count toward her seniority.

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