Lawyers renew fight against justice’s recusal in oil case

A federal judge is being asked to take another look at the Louisiana Supreme Court’s removal of one of its own justices from an environmental damage case, The Associated Press reports.

Four justices removed their colleague, Jefferson Hughes, from two cases last year after lawyers for oil companies pointed to contributions Hughes received in his 2012 campaign. The money came from lawyers fighting the oil companies in two environmental damage cases.

Hughes fought his recusal in federal court.

But U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance dismissed his suit last month, saying the 11th Amendment generally bars citizens from suing their state in federal court.

Landowners and their attorneys on Tuesday asked Vance to reconsider. They argue that their free speech rights are violated by Hughes’s removal.

Hughes filed a similar motion later Tuesday.

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