Melissa Landry NOV 3, 2016 – Most Louisianans seem to be focused on two big topics right now: football and politics. With a new coach in the hot seat at LSU and the hotly contested presidential race just a few days away, there’s no shortage of things to discuss around the water cooler. The race for U.S. senate has even sparked some interest. But not all political contests are created equal when it comes to capturing voters’ attention.
Down-ballot races have gotten far less money and media attention, but they are just as critical. One of those is the election for Louisiana Supreme Court.
The race features a contest between 15th Judicial District Court Judge Marilyn Castle against Third Circuit Court of Appeal Judge James “Jimmy” Genovese. Both candidates are sitting judges. Both candidates are technically registered Republicans. But that’s where the similarities end. There are significant differences between the judges’ practical legal experience, their track records while serving on the bench, and the people who are supporting their campaigns.
The eight parish-voting district for the state Supreme Court election includes: Lafayette, Acadia, Vermilion, St. Landry, Avoyelles, Jefferson Davis, Cameron and Calcasieu. If you are a voter in one of these parishes, it is important to get to know the judicial candidates before heading to the polls.
Judges have tremendous influence, and they make decisions that impact our lives every day. They provide justice for those who have been wronged, and they are responsible for protecting the freedoms we hold dear. From same sex marriage, to immigration policy to Obamacare — no matter where you stand on these issues, it is important to note that judges played a key role in deciding them all.
Don’t let someone else speak for you on Election Day. Despite the low-key nature of this judicial contest, the stakes are high. The candidate who garners the most votes on Nov. 8 will win a seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court for at least 10 years.
Good judges matter, and so does your vote.
Melissa Landry Executive Director, Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch Baton Rouge