Catherine D. Kimball
|Catherine D. "Kitty" Kimble|
|Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court|
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)|
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|
|Preceded by||Dan Kimball|
|Succeeded by||James J. Best|
February 7, 1945 |
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
|Political party||Democrat / later Independent|
Pointe Coupee Parish
|Alma mater||Bolton High School
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.
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.
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.
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. Victory retired from the court on December 31, 2014.
- Chief Justice Catherine D. Kimball biography at Louisiana Supreme Court official website (accessed May 27, 2010)
- "Kimball to take oath as 1st female chief justice" - 2 The Advocate
- "Catherine Kimball, February 1945". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- John James Jewell (December 2012). ""We Call Her "Kitty Ann"" (PDF). Louisiana State Bar Journal. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- "Kimball to be sworn in to state Supreme Court" - News Library
- "Judge becomes 4th candidate for Cole's Supreme Court seat" - The Advocate
- "Catherine 'Kitty' Kimball to be sworn in today as Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court". The New Orleans Times-Picayune. January 12, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
- "Louisiana Supreme Court chief justice released from hospital", AP in New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 23, 2010.
- "Race tinges debate over next La. chief justice". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
Pascal F. Calogero, Jr.
|Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court
Bernette Joshua Johnson
Luther F. Cole
|Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court
Jefferson D. Hughes, III
|Judge of the Louisiana 18th Judicial District Court
James J. Best