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LA Record: Judge asks for further arguments over constitutionality of levee board lawsuit

Louisiana Record reports Nineteenth Judicial District Judge Court Janice Clark will hear arguments on the constitutionality of legislation that nullifies the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit against nearly 100 oil companies for coastal land loss. Clark hinted that she may have already determined that the lawsuit can proceed, despite the wishes of the state legislator and Gov. Bobby Jindal. Judge Clark was not originally asked to determine the constitutionality of Act 544, but Clark said she was well within her authority to determine it. “On and on and over again courts have to adjust their judgments,” Clark said. Melissa Landry, executive director for the citizen watchdog group Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, said the actions of SLPFAE to get Clark’s court to rule Act 544 are questionable. “Once again the trial lawyers hijacked an unrelated case and turned to the district court in an attempt to overturn the Legislature, the Governor and the will of the people,” she said. “Fortunately, the impact of Judge Clark’s ruling will be minimal, at best, because a federal court is already scheduled to consider similar arguments in November.” It’s unclear what effect Clark’s ruling might have on the case, as it has been removed to federal court.

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