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State high court overturns bar to felons running for office

11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago January 27, 2016 Jan 27, 2016 Wednesday, January 27 2016 January 27, 2016 4:15 PM in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana Supreme Court has overturned a constitutional amendment barring felons from running for office because voters approved a version without a last-minute legislative change.

Wednesday's 6-1 ruling says citizens did not vote on the amendment enacted by the legislature.

The justices ruled in the case of Derrick Shepherd, a former state senator. He was not allowed to run for the state House in 2015 because his federal sentence for conspiring to launder money had ended in 2014.

The version approved by voters said convicted felons could not run for office for 15 years after the end of their sentences. It omitted an amendment exempting those sentenced only to probation.

The dissenting opinion said Shepherd's lawsuit should have been thrown out because that exemption did not apply to him.

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