Monday, 29 July 2013 18:26

Louisiana supreme court vacancy? Boggs, Guste remembered

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the-louisaina-supreme-court-buildingRetiring the robe
    After wearing the judicial robe for 33 years, Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Jeff Victory, 67, of Shreveport is retiring at the end of his current term onDecember 31, 2014.

    Reliable sources tell the Fax-Net that he will not seek a third 10-year term on the state’s high court.  No official public announcement has been made, however, but it is confirmed that Victory will retire.
    The news of Victory’s retirement  had the political rumor mill abuzz this past weekend.  Much discussion had taken place on whether Victory would retire or face what would have been a tough race for re-election.
    Caddo District Court Judge Scott Crichton, who  has served on the bench for 23 years, had already  thrown his robe into the ring and has been actively campaigning and raising money for a race against the incumbent justice.
    When contacted by the Fax-Net, Crichton said, “I commend Justice Victory on three decades of judicial service, and I wish him and his family the very best.”
    For now, Crichton, a Republican, is the lone candidate in the race for the 2nd District seat on the seven-member Louisiana Supreme Court. The election is scheduled for the fall of 2014.
    The 2nd District consists of 11 parishes – Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Red River, Sabine, Natchitoches, Vernon, Beauregard, Allen, and Evangeline.
    There are 409,524 registered voters in the 2nd District.  Of that total, 258,949 or 63% are white, 133,791 or 33% are black, and 16,784 or 4% are other races.  By party affiliation, 192,244 or 47% are Democrats, 119,704 or 29% are Republicans, and  97,576 or 24% are Other Parties.
     Interestingly, of the total number of registered voters in the district, 237,436 or 58% reside in Caddo and Bossier parishes.
    A seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court is certainly a judicial plum, and it is unlikely that Crichton will be  unopposed.
    In fact, the political rumor mill is already saying that 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Jay Caraway, 50, a Democrat from Bossier City, is giving some thought to entering the race.  He did not return a phone call from the Fax-Net over the weekend.
    If anyone has ever earned his retirement, Victory has.  Here is a brief look at his judicial career:
    *1995-2014: Justice, Louisiana Supreme Court.
    *1990-1995: Judge, Louisiana Second Circuit  Court of Appeal.
    *1981-1990: Judge, 1st Judicial District, Louisiana.
    *1971-1981: Attorney, Tucker, Jeter and Jackson.


Lindy was a Lady
     Lindy Boggs was one of the nicest people I have ever met.  She was a part of a bygone era, which no longer exists on Capitol Hill.  She passed awaySaturday at the age of 97.
    When I went to work as press secretary for U.S. Rep. F. Edward Hebert in Washington in 1966, Hale Boggs, Lindy’s husband, was House Majority Whip.  In 1971, he became House Majority Leader.
    Both Hale and Lindy were always kind and considerate to staff.  Not all members of Congress are.  I and other Louisiana staffers were always invited to an annual party at their home.
    In 1972, Hale was campaigning for U.S. Rep. Nick Begich when the plane they were on disappeared over a remote area of Alaska.
    Lindy succeeded her husband, taking office in 1973.  She served as the representative of the 2nd District of Louisiana until 1991.
    In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed her as Ambassador to the Vatican, a position she held until 2001.
    Lindy was beloved by all who knew her from all walks of life and all political parties.  She was always gracious, but never a patsy when advocating legislation and promoting her political philosophy.
    I will write in more detail about my recollections of Lindy, particularly following the disappearance of her husband and my boss’s role in the search, in my Forum column next week.
    Our prayers are with her and her family.

Political tidbits
    *Another Leader Lost– Billy Guste Jr. who was Louisiana’s Attorney General from 1972 to 1992,  passed away last week at the age of 91.
    A longtime political power in New Orleans and the state, Guste served in the state Senate and ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New Orleans before  becoming attorney general.
    Guste served longer as attorney general than anyone else in Louisiana history.  He stepped down in 1992 when he decided not to seek a sixth term.

First published on FaxNet; Republished with permission

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Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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