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Louisiana Supreme Court

Leans Pro Freedom
Total Judgeships: 

7 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

3 Dems - 4 GOP

Location(s): 
New Orleans
Caseload: 

2800

Recent Cases

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Law Deemed Constitutional Because It’s “Time Tested”

Tue, 07/01/2014

Louisiana v. Taylor: The People of Louisiana voted to amend their state constitution to read “the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.” After the change was made, a number of individuals filed suit stating that they, as felons who are not allowed to own firearms, were not given strict scrutiny and thus had their constitutional rights infringed upon.

Decision

The Supreme Court rejected the arguments of the Appellants, dismissing their cases. The Court’s explanation is as follows: “Our law proscribing the possession of firearms by convicted felons is not affected by the amendment and withstands a strict scrutiny analysis. Such laws are effective, time-tested, and easily understandable, and do not violate the constitution. Common sense and the public safety allow no other result." The subjective nature of this decision and the reasoning behind it lays an interesting foundation for the idea that just because a law has been around for a long time it does not violate anyone's rights. The potential door that this leaves open for right infringement is concerning.

Read the full decision here
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Double-Jeopardy or Déjà Vu?

Wed, 05/07/2014

Louisiana v. Davenport: In Davenport’s trial, the judge granted the motion for acquittal and dismissed the jury, ruling that Davenport was innocent of the accused crimes and the case ended. Afterwards it was determined that the judge had acted outside of his constitutional authority by granting the motion. As a result the case was called back into court under being filed as a mistrial. Davenport filed suit against Louisiana claiming that the re-trial violated his right against double-jeopardy.

Decision

The Supreme Court of Louisiana ruled in favor of the State, basing its decision on the fact that the judge’s verdict was made outside of his authority and is thus without effect. Since the decision was made by an inadequate judge, a re-trial is not bared by double jeopardy and is therefore legal. This decision by the Court does insure that the defendant and appellant receive a fair and equal trial.

Read the full decision here
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Court Stays True to Purpose; Turns Down Chance to Legislate

Wed, 05/07/2014

Thomas v. Bridges: After Thomas founded an out-of-state limited liability company (LLC) in order to avoid paying Louisiana sales tax, the Department of Revenue filed taxes against him. An unprecedented problem that has not been legislated on, the lower courts disagreed on whether the taxes should be applied.

Decision

The Supreme Court of Louisiana decided that the resolution to this issue has to be found through filling in policy gaps that currently exist. As a result, the Court stated that its job is to “interpret laws that are passed by the legislature, not to make laws.” As a result, the Court dismissed the case.

Read the full decision here