Catherine D. Kimball

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Catherine D. "Kitty" Kimble
Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court
In office
January 12, 2009 – February 1, 2013
Preceded by Pascal F. Calogero, Jr.
Succeeded by Bernette Joshua Johnson
Member of the Louisiana Supreme Court (Place Five)
In office
January 1, 1993 – February 1, 2013
Preceded by Luther F. Cole
Succeeded by Jefferson D. Hughes, III
Judge of the 18th Judicial District in Louisiana
In office
Personal details
Born (1945-02-07) February 7, 1945 (age 69)
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Clyde W. Kimball
Residence Ventress
Pointe Coupee Parish
Alma mater Bolton High School

Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Judge; Attorney

Catherine D. Kimball, known as Kitty Kimball (born February 7, 1945),[1] is the former Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.[2]

She began her judicial career in her native Alexandria, Louisiana, as a law clerk to Judge Nauman Scott of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

A Democrat, she became in 1992 the first woman elected to her state's highest court. Before that, in 1983, she became the first female judge in the 18th Judicial District.[3][4]


Kimball graduated in 1963 from Bolton High School in Alexandria in Rapides Parish. She is married to Clyde W. Kimball, a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and a deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. In 1970, Kimball received her Juris Doctor from the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She resides with her husband in Ventress in Pointe Coupee Parish.[1]

On January 10, 2010, Justice Kimball had a stroke and underwent post-stroke rehabilitation therapy at the Neuromedical Rehabilitation Hospital in Baton Rouge until her release five weeks later.[5]


Kimball retired from the court effective February 1, 2013. Her successor is Bernette Joshua Johnson, an African-American Democrat from New Orleans. Under the Louisiana Constitution, the longest-serving associate justice succeeds to the position of chief justice if a vacancy occurs in the higher position prior to the next election. Johnson's service dates to 1994 when she was elected to a circuit judgeship but then appointed to the Supreme Court under a federal consent decree which temporarily increased the number of justices from seven to eight. The number two in seniority, Jeffrey P. Victory of Shreveport, a white Democrat-turned-Republican, had maintained that he is the rightful successor to Kimball because he was elected to the Supreme Court in 1994 while he was already a circuit court judge. Victory did not begin his current all-elected service on the state Supreme Court in January 1995. After a legal challenge, the federal courts ruled Johnson the successor to Kimball.[6]

In 2011, Justice Kimball was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.


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Preceded by
Pascal F. Calogero, Jr.
Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Bernette Joshua Johnson