Judge in ICU with COVID-19 can qualify for re-election, La. Supreme Court decides

"Chip" Moore "truly recovering," wife says

Judge hospitalized with COVID-19 qualifies for election; family says he's doing better

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana’s Supreme Court decided Friday that an attorney for Judge Richard “Chip” Moore can sign election paperwork on Moore’s behalf, since the 55-year-old has been hospitalized with the Coronavirus since July 2 and is incapable of putting pen to paper.

The attorney, Beau Brock, says he signed Moore up to run himself and filed with East Baton Rouge Parish election officials. He sought pre-approval from the courts so an opponent could not challenge the election results down the road.

“Basically, the Supreme Court made his candidacy bulletproof,” Brock said. “We couldn’t have asked for more flexibility from the court.”

Moore will have to sign his own name by Nov. 2, a day before election day.

“The court recognized the uniqueness of this situation with COVID-19 and the lack of a provision in the election code for someone in his situation,” Lori Palmintier, one of the attorneys serving on Moore’s re-election committee, said. “He’s relying on us. He can’t do it for himself and we’re here for him.”

Moore’s wife, Sheryl, says doctors gave a “ridiculously wonderful” report on the judge’s status Friday. She says he’s off all of his heavy medications now and doctors are ready to try and allow him to breathe without machine assistance.

“In my mind, this is a great sign his body is truly recovering and he’s fighting,” she said. “I got down on my knees and I was just like, ‘Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.’”

Two lower judicial panels denied the request for pre-approval based on procedure, not the potential merit of their argument.

“In light of the highly unusual circumstances presented in this matter related to the ongoing global pandemic caused by COVID-19 and the fact that but for the current medical status of the candidate related to COVID-19 the candidate would have signed the certificate of candidacy, we reverse the lower courts,” the decision reads.

Election day is Nov. 3.

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