Content tagged “Judge”

Federal Judge John Parker dies at 85; oversaw school desegregation in EBR

Judge John V. Parker died on Monday. He was 85. While Parker handled a variety of issues over his nearly 20 years on the federal bench, he is best known for presiding over court-ordered desegregation in East Baton Rouge Parish schools. "He was a good guy, a good man and a good dad," his son Michael Parker, an attorney at the Taylor Porter law firm, tells Daily Report. Parker was born in Baton Rouge in 1928. After receiving a bachelor's degree and a law degree from LSU, he was in the Army from 1952 to 1954. He entered the private practice of law after leaving the service and served as assistant parish attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish from 1956 to 1966. Parker was nominated to the newly created judgeship for the Middle District of Louisiana by Jimmy Carter. Confirmed in 1979, he served as chief judge until 1998 and assumed senior status that year. "I was very sad to learn that Judge Parker passed away yesterday. He was an extremely fine judge and a very good man to anyone...

Reforms on the Legislative agenda

The Louisiana Legislature is addressing several high profile legal matters this year. Here's where some of those efforts stood as this issue of Business Report went to press.

Merit selection: Not an option

"Judges are not politicians," U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts declared during his 2005 confirmation hearing.

Quest for justice

The most sweeping legal reform bill of the year died pitifully less than halfway through the session.

Legislature won't appeal 'fund sweep' ruling

The Louisiana Legislature will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget. As The Associated Press reports, a Baton Rouge judge ruled in November that the maneuver by lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal was unconstitutional. At the time of the ruling, the Jindal administration said the state would appeal and expected the decision to be overturned. But legislative leaders chose not to take the issue to the Louisiana Supreme Court. "I talked to several of my legislative leaders, and we just came to the conclusion that the judge had ruled and we didn't want to waste any more taxpayer dollars on an appeal," says House Speaker Chuck Kleckley. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols' office issued a statement saying the Jindal administration is abiding by the decision of lawmakers. To cope with repeated budget shortfalls in recent years, Jindal and lawmakers have...

February deadline looming for report on La. judges

More than two years ago, lawmakers asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to determine if the state has too many district and city court judges. It's unclear if the Supreme Court will meet the February deadline that was set with detailed suggestions on where to cut—or will instead ask for further study. Judge Robert Morrison, the district judge who is the Supreme Court's chief adviser on such issues, says that the state doesn't have enough data to make sound recommendations. Morrison's comments were made today to a committee overseeing the judgeship study, The Associated Press reports. The Bureau of Governmental Research, a government watchdog organization, says if the court recommends further study, it will delay the elimination of unneeded judgeships for years. The state can't cut a judge's term short, and the next judicial election is in November.

New attack ad targets Landrieu on judge votes

A conservative group is criticizing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu in a new television ad for supporting the president's judicial picks. The Associated Press reports The Judicial Crisis Network will begin running a 30-second commercial today, which will air statewide for two weeks. The spot slams Landrieu for backing President Barack Obama's judicial nominees and for supporting a Senate rule change curbing the use of the stalling tactic called the filibuster, a move that will help Obama fill vacant judgeships. The organization ran a similar ad against U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat from Arkansas. It's the latest of several attack ads launched by conservative groups against Landrieu, who is seeking a fourth term in next year's election. She faces two Republican challengers: U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness of Madisonville.

Jindal: DOJ giving up on school vouchers, but trying to bog down program in red tape

Gov. Bobby Jindal says Louisiana has won its fight against a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice attempting to block the state's school voucher program, but claims the department is now trying to “red tape and regulate the program to death.” In a statement issued late Monday, Jindal announced that U.S. District Court Judge Ivan Lemelle “stated the Department of Justice has abandoned its previous request that the Court permanently stop the scholarship program.” “We are pleased that the Obama administration has given up its attempt to end the Louisiana Scholarship Program with this absurd lawsuit. It is great the Department of Justice has realized, at least for the time being, it has no authority to end equal opportunity of education for Louisiana children,” reads Jindal's statement. “However, we will continue to fight, at every...

BP accuses Louisiana leaders of 'political grandstanding' and 'false accusations'

BP and Louisiana's political leaders have become embroiled in an acrimonious war of words over the oil giant's cleanup record as legal wrangling over the 2010 Gulf oil spill continues. As British newspaper The Guardian reports today, a senior BP executive has accused Louisiana's leaders of "political grandstanding" and making "patently false assertions" about the environmental record of the company. The move comes after BP failed again to convince a federal judge it could limit compensation payments on the grounds of fraud, and remains mired in a criminal case with the U.S. Department of Justice. Geoff Morrell, BP's vice-president of U.S. communications—specifically responding to comments made earlier by Gov. Bobby Jindal and his top coastal official, Garret Graves—at a meeting of the Gulf Coast restoration council, said: "Their political grandstanding contains patently false assertions, defies the demonstrated record of environmental recovery that has occurred...