DOJ Announces Judge Bernadette Coolidge as Supreme Court Nominee

Sanctus – The Department of Justice today announced that Bernadette Coolidge, a judge on the Central Riding Court of Appeals, would be nominated by the Government to replace recently retired Supreme Court Justice Trevor Woodhouse. If confirmed by the Senate, Coolidge would be the first black justice on the nation’s highest court, as well as ensuring a majority female bench for the first time.

Coolidge’s nomination does come as a surprise, as she was only appointed to the Central Riding CoA when it was formed post-federalisation in 2019. Prior to this, she had limited bench experience in the Sanctus District Courts, but had primarily served as a public defender for most of her legal career. Some courtwatchers today pointed out that the Central Riding has plenty more experienced judges who would have expected a nomination before Coolidge, however all have said that she is more than qualified for the role.

Still relatively young at 53, Judge Coolidge could potentially serve over 30 years on the bench if she is confirmed. A Sanctus native, Coolidge earned her law degree at the University College Pontifex and worked as a public defender in Pontifex and surrounding areas until she was appointed to the bench in the nation’s capital. She is married, with three children, one of whom is adopted.

With Coolidge’s nomination, there are still two outstanding to be made in relation to the bench of the Supreme Court, with the DOJ confirming today the remaining nominations would be made when the House returns in September. Coolidge’s own nomination will be moved by the Secretary for Justice on the first day back, with the Senate hopefully holding hearings in the following weeks. Sources within the government have indicated that former Attorney General Tara Gregory is “likely” to be nominated for one of the final vacant positions.

LOUISA SOUTER, Crime & Justice Correspondent

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