A Tribute to a Trailblazer Virtual Celebration in Honor of Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson – December 8, 2020
“A Tribute to a Trailblazer” virtual celebration was held in honor of Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, who retired on December 31, 2020. Executive Counsel Angela White-Bazile began the program by discussing many of the honors and awards bestowed upon Chief Justice Johnson during her time in the Louisiana judiciary. Louisiana Supreme Court Justices John L. Weimer, Jefferson D. Hughes, Scott J. Crichton, James T. Genovese, William J. Crain, Jay B. McCallum, and former Justice Jeannette Theriot Knoll each shared their appreciation and praise to the Chief Justice for what they had learned, and how they had enjoyed working with her over the years. Also offering praises to the Chief Justice were Judy Perry Martinez, immediate past president of the American Bar Association; Chief Judge June Berry Darensberg of the 24th JDC, and Chair of the Louisiana Judicial Council National Bar Association; Alainna Mire, Louisiana State Bar Association President; and Laura Tuggle, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) Executive Director who announced that SLLS will be naming their Welcome Center after Chief Justice Johnson.
SCLAHS’s president Donna D. Fraiche announced that the Louisiana Supreme Court Museum will be renamed the Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson Supreme Court Museum, in honor of Chief Justice Johnson’s legacy of over three decades as a Louisiana judge and justice. The museum-naming honor was especially relevant to the Chief Justice since the museum features portraits of Louisiana Supreme Court chief justices, an extensive “Women in Law” timeline, and a “Diversity in the Judiciary” exhibit. Chief Justice Johnson’s retirement marks the culmination of over 30 years as a distinguished jurist and a 26-year career on the state’s highest court. Chief Justice Johnson served as the 25th Chief Justice, the first African-American Chief Justice, and the second female Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.