Fabiana Pierre-Louis becomes 1st Black woman to serve on New Jersey Supreme Court

The Senate cast a unanimous vote in favor of Pierre-Louis' confirmation, making the daughter of Haitian immigrants a New Jersey Supreme Court justice

Fabiana Pierre-Louis is pictured in a YouTube screenshot. (Credit: YouTube/TODAY)

On Thursday, Fabiana Pierre-Louis became the youngest and first-ever Black woman to be appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court.    

In June, Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Pierre-Louis to New Jersey’s highest court. On Aug. 27, the Senate cast a unanimous vote in favor of her confirmation, making the daughter of Haitian immigrants a NJ Supreme Court justice.

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“I know how important it is for young people to see people who look like them, or come from similar neighborhoods as them, or similar backgrounds, to see those people in positions of leadership,” Pierre-Louis told WABC-TV.

The tri-state area is where her family has worked and lived for years. Her father was a New York City taxi driver, while her mother was a healthcare worker for 20 years in Manhattan.

“Their work ethic is something I’ve always looked up to. They worked extremely hard coming to a country where they didn’t speak the language, didn’t know many people, and really established themselves,” she said.

The newly appointed justice will succeed New Jersey Associate Justice Walter Timpone. In three months, Timpone will be 70 years old — New Jersey Supreme Court’s mandatory retirement age.

Fabiana Pierre-Louis is pictured in a YouTube screenshot. (Credit: YouTube/TODAY)

Pierre-Louis formed her connection with the NJ Supreme Court after graduating from Rutgers Law School when she became a law clerk for former-New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Wallace.

Before taking on her role as a Supreme Court Justice, Pierre-Louis served as an Assistant United States Attorney for New Jersey. After nearly 10 years of service, she began working in white-collar and government investigations at Montgomery McCracken.

To commemorate the success of her confirmation Gov. Murphy made a statement to WABC-TV:

“Fabiana is an exceptionally talented attorney, and will now have the historic distinction of becoming the first Black woman to be seated on our state’s highest court. I am honored to have put her name forward, and to see someone with a different set of life experiences and perspectives on our Supreme Court, a judicial body where New Jerseyans from all walks of life turn for justice,” said Murphy.

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This is yet another major stride Pierre-Louis is making for inclusivity and representation in American law. While serving as assistant United States attorney, she became the first Black woman to become the attorney-in-charge of the Camden and Trenton field offices, WABC-TV reported.

“I just feel like I’m fortunate to be in this position and hope to be an inspiration to others,” Pierre-Louis said.

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