Murphy to name first black woman to state’s Supreme Court

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office)

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.

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.

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.


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