Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball says the state's code of judicial conduct prohibits her from meeting with a group of community leaders to discuss their concerns about the court's impending debate over naming Kimball's successor.
Several supporters of Justice Bernette Johnson, who sued last week to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is entitled to become the next chief justice, had asked to meet this week with Kimball.
Several black Louisiana elected officials are asking the Justice Department's civil rights division to intervene in a dispute over whether state Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson is legally entitled to become the court's next chief justice.
A letter sent Monday to the head of the division's voting section accuses Johnson's colleagues of trying to dilute the rights of black voters by unilaterally creating a new process for deciding which justice has the most seniority.
Three federal judges in New Orleans have recused themselves from presiding over Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson's lawsuit seeking to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is legally entitled to be the court's next chief justice.
The case was transferred Friday to U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan after three other judges — Jay Zainey, Ivan Lemelle and Carl Barbier — disqualified themselves. It wasn't immediately clear if Morgan will keep the case.