Honoring Justice Bernette Joshua Johnsonby Representative Cedric L. Richmond
Posted on 2013-02-25
in the house of representatives
Monday, February 25, 2013
Mr. RICHMOND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the continued
achievements of Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, a leader in the
Louisiana community. I congratulate Justice Johnson on her pending
investiture as Chief Justice of Louisiana's Supreme Court, on which she
has served with distinction for nearly two decades. As the most-tenured
member of Louisiana's highest court, Bernette Joshua Johnson will
continue her legacy of excellence as the state's first African American
Chief Justice. Her investiture is an important one for her career as a
civil servant, for the state of Louisiana, and for the United States.
Before her service on Louisiana's Supreme Court, Justice Johnson began her career as the first woman to be elected to the Civil District Court of New Orleans and was elected Chief Judge soon after. A cornerstone of her career has always been advocacy for civil rights and social justice. During the Civil Rights Movement, she worked as a community organizer with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense & Educational Fund. She also worked as a legal intern with the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice, here in Washington, D.C. where she worked on cases filed by the Department to implement the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career, including the Louisiana Bar Foundation's 2009 Distinguished Jurist Award, the American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, and the 2000 Medal of Honor presented by the Mayor of the City of New Orleans. In addition, she has spoken at universities and government agencies all over Louisiana and throughout the south. Justice Johnson is a prolific writer having published editorials, essays, and legal opinions since the beginning of her legal career.
Justice Johnson is a community advocate, an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and the proud mother of two. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 2001 was honored with an Honorary Doctorate in Law from her alma mater. She was one of the first African American women to attend the Law School at Louisiana State University where she received her Juris Doctorate in 1969. She has since been inducted into the LSU Law School Hall of Fame. Justice Johnson's achievements are a testament to her commitment to public service. She is an excellent example of the value of hard work and perseverance in the face of adversity.
I wish to congratulate Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson on her investiture as the Louisiana Supreme Court's first African American Chief Justice.