NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lawyers for the Louisiana Supreme Court say one of its justices is asking a federal judge to impermissibly interfere with the authority of the state's highest court to decide who should be its next chief justice.

In a court filing Tuesday, the state Supreme Court's attorneys argue that U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan doesn't have jurisdiction over the claims brought by Justice Bernette Johnson.

Johnson's federal lawsuit seeks to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she or Justice Jeffrey Victory is legally entitled to succeed Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball when she retires next year. Johnson argues she is next in line for the job under the terms of the state constitution because she qualifies as the court's longest-serving justice.