Gov. Phil Murphy (D) nominated attorney Fabiana Pierre-Louis to the New Jersey Supreme Court on June 5, in anticipation of the retirement of Justice Walter Timpone. Timpone will be required to step down from the court when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 years old this November.
Under New Jersey law, state court judges are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. If confirmed, Pierre-Louis would become the first Black female justice to join the court. She would also be the first Black justice to sit on the supreme court bench since John E. Wallace, Jr., for whom Pierre-Louis clerked after law school, left the court in 2010.
Founded in 1776, the New Jersey Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort and has seven judgeships. Of the seven justices currently on the court, two were appointed by a Democratic governor, and five were appointed by a Republican governor. Pierre-Louis is Gov. Murphy’s first appointment to the court.