Updated: Aug 27, 2020
According to the New York Times, Fabiana Pierre-Louis, a first-generation Haitian American is one step closer to becoming the first Black woman to sit on New Jersey’s Supreme Court. Her selection will be of historical significance as she would restore diversity on the State’s bench.
“It’s important for young people and future generations to see people who look like them” Fabiana Pierre-Louis
Ms. Pierre-Louis was nominated to the post by Governor Phillip D. Murphy in June amid the nationwide protests against systemic racism that were sparked by the death of George Flyod while in police custody. She would be replacing Walter Timpone, who turns 70 in November, which is the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices.
As stated by North Jersey News, on Monday August 24, the Senate Judiciary committee unanimously voted to move forward her nomination, the full senate is expected to hold a final vote on Thursday. If confirmed, Ms. Pierre, 39 would be the youngest member, and could serve for up to three decades. During the hearing, legislators of both parties mostly praised her for her professional experience working in the public and private sector, and her personal background as the daughter of Haitian immigrants.
Pierre-Louis sworn in to testify before the judiciary committee on August 24
"The fact that I sit here today with the opportunity to sit on the court is beyond words," Pierre-Louis said. "I understand the importance and magnitude of my nomination to the highest court in the state."
Born in Brooklyn, and raised in Irvington, New Jersey, Pierre-Louis earned her bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and graduated with honors from Rutgers-Camden Law School. She started her career working at Montgomery McCracken, Walker & Rhoads LLP. She later on worked as a clerk for Supreme ’s Court Justice John Wallace, and then earned a position as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey in both Camden and Trenton. In 2019, she returned to Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads LLP as partner where she handles white-collar crime, commercial litigation, and government investigations.
Ms. Pierre-Louis credits her achievements to her humble roots, and her parents' hard work and efforts to make sure she could pursue a higher education. Fabiana Louis-Pierre's story is very inspiring and hopefully her appointment will influence other states to diversify their courts as well.
Sources: The New York Times