NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After 20 years of service on the Louisiana Supreme Court, Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball has formally retired.

Kimball, who officially retired Thursday, became the first woman on the Supreme Court when she was elected in 1992 from the Fifth District, which covers Ascension, East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston and Pointe Coupee parishes. In January 2009, she became the court's first female chief justice.

The following January, Kimball suffered a stroke and spent five weeks in a hospital. She was released from a rehabilitation hospital Feb. 22, 2010, and returned to the bench in December but had to significantly cut back on her workload.

Voters elected Republican appeals court Judge Jeff Hughes in a runoff to fill her seat. Kimball's term runs until 2018.


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