Norma Holloway Johnson

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Norma Holloway Johnson (July 28, 1932 – September 18, 2011), born Normalie Loyce Holloway, was a United States federal judge, and the first African-American woman to serve as a US District Court Chief Judge.


Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, she received a B.S. from District of Columbia Teachers College in 1955 and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1962. She was in private practice in Washington, DC in 1963. She was a Trial attorney of Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice from 1963 to 1967. She was an Assistant corporation counsel, Washington, DC from 1967 to 1970. She was a judge on the District of Columbia Superior Court from 1970 to 1980. Judge Johnson was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on February 28, 1980, to a seat vacated by George L. Hart. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 9, 1980, and received commission on May 12, 1980.[citation needed]

Johnson ruled on Kenneth Starr's probe of the Clinton administration.[1] She also cited Rita Lavelle for contempt of court and sentenced her to prison.[citation needed] She served as chief judge, 1997-2001. She assumed senior status on June 18, 2001. Johnson served in that capacity until December 31, 2003, due to retirement.

Johnson died Sunday, September 18, 2011, at her brother's home in her native Lake Charles, following a stroke. She was 79 years old.[2]


  1. ^ Cohen, Adam; Viveca Novak (1998-03-16). "The Nonsense Stops Here". TIME 151 (N°10): 30. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  2. ^ New York Times obituary for Norma Holloway Johnson