May 242018

Judge Clare Jupiter had a deep commitment to her family including (left to right) grandaughter Ayanna Perry, mother Ramona Felton Jupiter, daughter Nia Bryant and granddaughter Amani Allison. Not pictured husband Pat Bryant and son Kwame Bryant. (photo by Danae Columbus)

More than 1,000 people are expected to crowd the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church tomorrow morning for the funeral of Civil District Court Judge Clare Jupiter, who passed away last Friday from complications of a recent stroke. After proudly completing a strenuous exercise session at Touro Infirmary’s rehab center Friday afternoon, Jupiter’s heart just gave out.

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Jupiter’s January stroke came four years after a heart attack suffered in her courtroom. It took almost an hour to revive Jupiter that fateful day but EMS officials would not give up. One of them attended New Life Ministries with Jupiter and knew of her character, kindness, and giving nature she expressed to everyone she met. A week after that heart attack, a determined Jupiter walked out of the hospital and back into the courthouse.

Simply put, Jupiter tried to be the best at everything she did and inspired others to follow her lead. The second of 12 children, Jupiter hailed from a New Orleans family who took their commitment to service seriously. A high achiever, Jupiter found success at many levels – as an outstanding jurist, an accomplished swimmer, a respected journalist, and a loving wife, mother and grandmother. Personal ethics was very important to Jupiter, according to her husband Pat Bryant, a civil rights activist. The two met at Southern Exposure magazine in North Carolina where Jupiter had been the editor after completing Duke Law School. Bryant followed Jupiter back to New Orleans.

“Clare strongly believed that lawyers and judges should maintain the highest ethical standards,” said Bryant. “Elected or appointed officials should never have any appearance of impropriety. She wrote extensively on the subject in law journals and she lectured on this subject to lawyers. It was in her heart.”

Even though she was on the bench daily, Jupiter was able to balance her commitment to the law and her family. “Clare always tried to make other people happy. She was a very dedicated mother who loved to cook for family and friends and was especially known for her gumbo and crawfish pies. She was very close to her mother and was always available for her grandchildren, who called her BiBi, the Swahili word for grandmother,” Bryant continued.

“Clare was a miracle. She lived a good life but left us far too soon. She will be in our hearts forever and will continue to inspire us all to serve others,” Bryant concluded. Visitation begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. with services following at 10 a.m.


President Donald Trump’s comments last night on Fox that America’s athletes should “stand proudly” whenever the National Anthem is played or they “shouldn’t be playing – and maybe they shouldn’t be in the country” probably did not sit well with the millions of Americans who consider this matter a free speech issue. Trump also continued his assault on immigration stating that he will continue to pressure Democrats to pass additional legislation to make America’s borders more secure and end the current “catch and release” policy.

USA Today reported recently that America’s “moral compass” has been reset since President Trump came into office due to increased diversity, secularization, and polarization. There is a vacuum in leadership with no particular voice having emerged as a moral authority. Fifty years ago Americans trusted government, most newscasters and believed in religion. Today, 63% of voters feel that President Trump lacks moral leadership. Social media and our 24-hour news cycle have changed the way Americans receive their information and the amount of information available. Though Americans want good people to serve them in public office, moral character and moral effectiveness do not always align, said Cornell University professor David Pizarro.


Congressman Cedric Richmond will be meeting with young professionals next Wednesday, May 30, at Tomas Bistro, 755 Tchoupitoulas, starting at 6:30 p.m. Richmond is reaching out to community groups in anticipation of the 2018 midterm elections.

Danae Columbus, who has had a 30-year career in politics and public relations, offers her opinions on Thursdays. Her career includes stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board and former clients such as District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, City Council members Stacy Head and Jared Brossett, City Councilwoman-elect Helena Moreno, Foster Campbell, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.