Photo/Chris Pedota - AP
Fabiana Pierre-Louis, the daughter of working class Haitian immigrants, is breaking barriers as the first Black woman confirmed to New Jersey’s Supreme Court. At the age of 39, Justice Pierre-Louis is the youngest member of the bench in the highest court of the state.
Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Irvington, New Jersey, Justice Pierre-Louis was the first woman of color to hold the role of attorney-in charge for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in both Camden and Trenton offices and she is only the third African American confirmed to the NJ Supreme Court in over 244 years. With a unanimous vote of 39-0, Justice Pierre-Louis can help shape the judicial landscape for up to 30 years before the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Justice Pierre-Louis’s confirmation came amid racial protests following the killing of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of law enforcement. In response to the protests in a New York Times interview, she stated “ I think that what people are seeking is a society where everyone is treated fairly and justly and equally under the law.” In addition to acknowledging the struggle of African Americans, Justice Pierre-Louis credits her humble upbringing and immigrant roots with shaping her point of view. “It’s part of who I am...It's part of my identity,” she stated.
A wife and mother of two, Justice Pierre-Louis is aware of how her accomplishments could impact future generations. "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," she stated in an ABC Eyewitness News interview. Now her Black Girl Magic will be shining in New Jersey’s highest court for aspiring legal minds.