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Baton Rouge judge seeking re-election despite state law saying she's too old

1 year 1 week 4 days ago Thursday, July 23 2020 Jul 23, 2020 July 23, 2020 11:00 PM July 23, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

UPDATE: Clark announced she is pulling out of the election after state Supreme Court refused to take up her appeal. Read the full update here: https://www.wbrz.com/news/br-judge-dropping-re-election-bid-after-la-supreme-court-rejects-challenge-to-age-limit

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BATON ROUGE - Judge Janice Clark submitted paperwork qualifying her for re-election in the fall, defying a Louisiana law barring her from holding on to her seat in East Baton Rouge because of her age.

Clark submitted her qualifying paperwork Friday in spite of a state law requiring judges retire by age 70.

This week, the state Supreme Court affirmed that the 73-year-old judge is too old to seek re-election when it dismissed a legal challenge by Clark and 72-year-old New Orleans Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell.

Clark told the Advocate she is qualifying for re-election before the deadline Friday in order to allow her time for a rehearing. 

“Right now, my focus is on the law,” Clark told the newspaper. “I’m reading voraciously on every case on this question across the country.”

The lawsuit filed by Clark and other "similarly situated" judges argues there is no "legitimate reason to discriminate" against them due to their age. All other 19th Judicial District Court judges, with the exception of Chief Judge Wilson Fields, have recused themselves from handling the suit.

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