Supreme Court rules against Judge Janice Clark in age case

La. Supreme Court rules against judge in age case

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Louisiana district judge says her fight is not over, despite a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling that says she must step down from the bench at the end of this year.

The high court essentially upheld that ruling Thursday, July 30.

State law prohibits Judge Janice Clark, age 73, from seeking another term. Clark, who has served on the bench since 1992, qualified to run for re-election in November.

However, a state law is standing in her way. That law prohibits those over age 70 from seeking an elected judgeship in the state.

Last week, the State Supreme Court upheld that state law. Thursday the same high court denied Clark’s request that the court reverse its ruling.

Click here to read the grant and assigns reasons from Chief Justice J. Crichton

Judges who reach 70 while in office are allowed to finish their term. Clark is serving a six-year term that expires at the end of this year.

Clark told WAFB Thursday that her fight is not over.

“We are reviewing all our options,” the judge said.

Clark said she was never allowed to have a hearing at the district court level on the merits of her case. Clark says a hearing would have given her a chance to present evidence and ensure that she receives “equal justice under the law” for a state law that she views as discriminatory.

Clark did not rule out the possibility of appealing her case to the federal level.

Clark said a Louisiana state lawmaker was in the process of changing the state law earlier this year but the effort was sidelined due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She says the state lawmaker was previously successful in changing a similar law that applied to those seeking the office of Justice of the Peace.

Two others have qualified to run for Clark’s seat in the November election. They include Dele Adebamiji and Will Jordan.

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