The Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey has endorsed Gov. Phil Murphy’s nomination of Fabiana Pierre-Louis to the New Jersey Supreme Court and is urging the State Senate to quickly confirm her.
If confirmed, Pierre-Louis will become the first black woman to serve on the state’s top court, and would give the Supreme Court its first black justice since Gov. Chris Christie refused to renominate John A. Wallace in 2010.
The organization praised Pierre-Louis’ legal acumen and called her a role model for women of all races, ages and socio-economic statuses.
“It is imperative to have diversity on the State’s highest court,” said Norma R. Evans, a former career prosecutor and president of the ABWL-NJ. “The New Jersey Supreme Court decides the most critical, controversial, and impactful issues in the State; its decisions impact New Jerseyans for decades. If the Court truly represents the interests and perspectives of all, then it must reflect the diverse body of the people.”
According to a statement issued by the association, “the historical absence of a Black Woman on New Jersey’s Supreme Court is a reflection of the lack of equality and diversity in all aspects of society.”
“Governor Murphy has shown that he values diversity and excellence in the nomination of Ms. Pierre-Louis,” Evans said. “ABWL-NJ is extremely proud that Ms. Pierre-Louis has been nominated to serve the citizens of New Jersey on the State’s Supreme Court. We know her voice will bring a perspective that reflects and speaks to our diverse population.”
Murphy nominated Pierre-Louis, a former assistant U.S. Attorney who ran two of the federal prosecutor’s offices in New Jersey, on Friday.
She was named to replace Walter Timpone, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on November 10.
Pierre-Louis, 39, could spent more than 30 years on the Supreme Court.
New Jersey has had just two black justices: Wallace and his predecessor, James Coleman.