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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is working overtime to stop the appointment of the first black Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. A federal judge ruled that Bernette Johnson is to succeed the state’s white chief justice, who is set to retire next year. Jindal has been fighting the judge’s decision since it was made, and the battle underscores the dark, ugly racial history of the state of Louisiana.
The constitution of the state of Louisiana says that the Chief Justice should be the person who has served the longest term as Associate Justice. That person would be Johnson, who joined the court in 1994. Oddly, Jindal is fighting to make Jeffrey Victory the next Chief Justice, even though he began his term in 1995.