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
1983–1991
Preceded by Dan Kimball
Succeeded by James J. Best
Personal details
Born (1945-02-07) February 7, 1945 (age 70)
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Democrat / later Independent
Spouse(s) Clyde Kimball
Children Kevin Kimball

Catherine Kimball
Lyria K. O'Brien

Residence Ventress
Pointe Coupee Parish
Louisiana
Alma mater Bolton High School

Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Judge; Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Catherine D. Kimball, known as Kitty Kimball (born February 7, 1945),[1] is the retired 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.

Formerly a Democrat, Kimball is listed in 2015 as a registered Independent voter by the office of Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler.[3]

In 1992, Kimball carried all twelve parishes in the Louisiana Supreme Court Fifth District, including St. Landry and East Baton Rouge, to become her state's first female Supreme Court justice. She was an associate justice from 1993 to 2009, when she was elevated to Chief Justice, a position she held until her retirement in 2013. In 1983, she succeeded her husband's uncle, Dan Kimball, to become the first woman elected to the 18th Judicial District Court for Iberville, Pointe Coupee, and West Baton Rouge parishes.[4][5][6]

Biography[edit]

Kimball was the only daughter of five children born to an Alexandria couple. She graduated in 1963 from Bolton High School in Alexandria. In 1966, Kimball graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. In 1970, she received her Juris Doctor from the Louisiana State University Law Center, also in Baton Rouge. Her husband, Clyde Kimball, also an LSU graduate, is a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and a former deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The couple first lived in New Roads, where in the 1970s she practiced law and was an assistant prosecutor.[7]

The couple now reside in Ventress in Pointe Coupee Parish. They have three grown children.[1] They are Roman Catholic.[7]

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.[8]


Retirement[edit]

Kimball retired from the court on 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 was 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.[9] Victory retired from the court on December 31, 2014.

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

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Pascal F. Calogero, Jr.
Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Bernette Joshua Johnson
Preceded by
Luther F. Cole
Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court
1993–2013
Succeeded by
Jefferson D. Hughes, III
Preceded by
Dan Kimball
Judge of the Louisiana 18th Judicial District Court
1983–1991
Succeeded by
James J. Best