Gov. Phil Murphy nominates Black woman to State Supreme Court

Cyril Josh Barker | 6/5/2020, 6:05 p.m.
Attorney Fabiana Pierre-Louis is on the path to making history in New Jersey as Gov. Phil Murphy announces her nomination.
Fabiana Pierre-Louis Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP

Attorney Fabiana Pierre-Louis is on the path to making history in New Jersey as Gov. Phil Murphy announces her nomination. If confirmed, Pierre-Louis would be the first Black woman to serve on the state’s highest court.

Murphy announced the nomination last week during a press conference. Pierre-Louis is currently a partner at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads. She served for nine years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey as an assistant U.S. attorney and the attorney-in-charge of the Camden Office where she was the first Black woman to hold that position.

“I have spent my entire legal career in New Jersey, both private practice, and in government service as an assistant United States attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Pierre-Louis. “It is extremely humbling to have the opportunity to continue the proud tradition of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s commitment to justice, equality, and fairness. I would like to thank Governor Murphy for this honor, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of New Jersey.”

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver said Pierre-Louis’ nomination sends a powerful message to other states when it comes to diversity in the legal system.

“Across this country, there are 33 states which do not have a woman of color on their highest court,” said Oliver. “I cannot wait to see New Jersey leave that list with Fabiana’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.”

A native of Irvington, N.J., Pierre-Louis served as a law clerk for the Judge John E. Wallace Jr. of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, who occupied the seat for which she was nominated. She is a board member of the Rutgers Law School-Camden Alumni Association and a trustee with the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey.

“As a first-generation American, Fabiana brings both a sharp legal acumen and the perspective of her own past that will greatly benefit the proceedings of our state’s highest court,” Murphy said. “In addition to her esteemed legal career, Fabiana’s humility, empathy, and character are all traits that make her well-suited to become the next Associate Justice and the first Black woman to serve on New Jersey’s Supreme Court.”