Fabiana Pierre-Louis took one step closer to becoming the first Black female justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court when she was approved, unanimously, by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.
A vote of the full Senate is set for Thursday. She is widely expected to be approved.
Pierre-Louis, 39, is a former federal prosecutor from Burlington County, but her back story — she is the daughter of Haitian immigrants, grew up in Irvington and English was not her first language — makes her even more compelling and groundbreaking.
She was approved, 11-0, with votes from four Republicans, including one — Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Creskill) — who asked her if she was a communist.
Pierre-Louis would replace Justice Walter Timpone, who is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. Should she be approved by the Senate, she would be the youngest member of the court by more than 20 years. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner is 60.