Political

Jul 15, 2012 2:53 PM by Alex Labat

Landrieu endorses Johnson for La. Chief Justice

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Sen. Mary Landrieu has waded into a debate over naming the next chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and endorsed Justice Bernette Johnson for the job.

In a statement Wednesday, the Louisiana Democrat says there is "no question" Johnson has the right to succeed Chief Justice Catherine Kimball because she will be the court's longest-serving member once Kimball retires next year.

Johnson sued last week to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is entitled to the position. Justice Jeffrey Victory also has staked a claim to being the court's longest-serving justice.

The debate hinges on whether Johnson's first few years of service count toward her seniority because she technically filled an appeals court seat when she joined the Supreme Court in 1994.

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