Fabiana Pierre-Louis to Make History as the First Black Woman on NJ Supreme Court
Photo Credit: Office of Gov. Phil Murphy

Fabiana Pierre-Louis to Make History as the First Black Woman on NJ Supreme Court

Black women have been making headlines lately for their historical achievements, and Fabiana Pierre-Louis is no exception.

Haitian-American lawyer Pierre-Louis is set to become the first Black woman to sit on New Jersey’s Supreme Court.

Pierre-Louis — a partner at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads — will become associate justice of the state’s highest court if her nomination is confirmed by the Senate, ESSENCE reports.

According to Face 2 Face Africa, Pierre-Louis previously served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey for nine years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the Attorney-in-Charge of the Camden Branch Office, where she was the first Black woman to hold such a position in the District’s entire history, her page on Montgomery McCraken’s website states.

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Pierre-Louis as his first pick for the state’s Supreme Court as he strongly believes she will sustain the legacy of John Wallace, the last Black justice on the state’s highest court, Face 2 Face Africa reports.

“A core tenet of my Administration is a commitment to an independent, fair-minded judiciary that reflects the immense diversity of our great state,” Murphy said to ESSENCE. “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.”

Pierre-Louis’s excitement about her possible new position was apparent in her interview with ESSENCE.

“It’s hard to put into words the honor that it is to be nominated to the highest court in the state of New Jersey,” Pierre-Louis told ESSENCE.
“My goal, particularly as a prosecutor, was always to pursue justice and fairness in the law…It’s just a remarkable opportunity to continue in the very proud tradition of this state’s Supreme Court.”

As the daughter of Haitian immigrants and a first-generation American, Pierre-Louis trusts in her ability to bring a unique perspective to the court, if and when her nomination is confirmed.

“I am a Black woman. I am the child of immigrants from Haiti. I am someone who is a first generation American citizen here in this country, [the] first person in my family to attend law school, to become a lawyer, someone who’s also lived in a variety of inner cities throughout my life, beginning with my early childhood in Brooklyn, then followed by the remainder of my childhood in Irvington, New Jersey,” she said to ESSENCE. “All those experiences bring a unique perspective to the Court that currently is not there.”

Pierre-Louis echoed the governor’s same sentiments in regards to his views on New Jersey’s current status.

“New Jersey is a very diverse state,” Pierre-Louis said. “It is extremely important for the judiciary and other government bodies to be a reflection of the community that they serve. So, having people of diverse backgrounds and diverse perspectives sitting on the highest court in these states certainly inspires confidence that the court will rule and have these diverse perspectives in ruling on extremely important cases.”

Within her upcoming role, Pierre-Louis is set on seeking “fair and open-minded justice,” according to ESSENCE.

Pierre-Louis beams with pride about her new appointment and plans to not only make the state of New Jersey proud but her parents as well.

“Many years ago my parents came to the United States from Haiti with not much more than the clothes on their backs and the American dream in their hearts. I think they have achieved that dream beyond measure because my life is certainly not representative of the traditional trajectory of someone who would one day be nominated to the Supreme Court of New Jersey,” she said.

Pierre-Louis’ nomination is set to be confirmed by the Democrat-led Senate at a later date.