Restraining order lifts ban on older candidates seeking office

Restraining order lifts ban on older candidates seeking office

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A judge in the 19th Judicial District Court ruled Tuesday to give people recently tabbed as too old the opportunity to qualify for the office of justice of the peace and state constable.

District Judge Tim Kelley issued a temporary restraining order that counters a new law that prohibits people 70 and older from running for those offices.

The law's author Senator Elbert Guillory of Opelousas says some of his constituents said the change was needed.

“Some of them on oxygen tanks and others on medications who making life decisions and arresting people on the streets and highways of Louisiana,” said Guillory in a phone interview.

Baton Rouge City Constable Reggie Brown who is 68 says city and local constables are not affected by the law, but adds the measure should never have been passed.

“Let's correct the problem where it exists not blanket everyone  by telling them you can't run for office anymore because somebody else did something that's not proper,” said Brown.

The temporary restraining order issued in court puts the breaks on age restrictions for any justice of the peace or constable candidate seeking election just one day before qualifying begins and Guillory says he has no problem with the issue returning to the Capitol.

“We will now revisit this matter. We will give everybody an opportunity to be heard and the Louisiana Legislature again in its wisdom will make a decision and we will do what's best for the state of Louisiana,” added Guillory

Guillory insists the law is about safety, but Brown says it should be up to the voters in the state to decide who represents them in any elected office.

“The person who is serving that should be their choice as long as there is a freedom act where you're allowed to run for office,” said Brown.

Guillory says the issue will return to court later this month where a judge will decide if the restraining order is lifter or an injunction is imposed.

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