In the race to fill the open seat in Criminal District Court Section K, three lawyers are bringing their diverse background and outlook to the competition: attorney Stephanie Bridges, best known for her 24 years as president of the New Orleans Council for Community and Justice (NOCCJ); 36-year-old lawyer Marcus DeLarge, whose family has been active in city government for half a century; and 30-year practitioner Gary Wainwright, who describes his work as “citizen’s defense.” A fourth candidate, Diedre Pierce Kelly, was disqualified by the Louisiana Supreme Court. Stephanie Bridges
A distant relative by marriage to civil rights icons Ruby Bridges and the late Dr. Zebadee Bridges, nonprofit executive Stephanie Bridges has been an advocate for youth justice for more than 30 years. The NOCCJ, the human relations organization she leads, “promotes understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution and education.”
NOCCJ offers cultural diversity workshops and for almost 10 years provided free expungement clinics in conjunction with the Louis Martinet Society and the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana. Some of the young people who participated in NOCCJ programs needed expungements to give them a fresh start. While lawyers from the partnering groups completed the technical aspects, Bridges learned the basics. Longtime NOCCJ partner and former Loyola University President Father James Carter dared Bridges to enter Loyola’s Law School program.
The Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC), New Orleans’ premier criminal justice watchdog agency, is urging the New Orleans Police Department to refocus on violent offenders during a time when shootings and murders are surging and fewer arrests are being made for violent and weapons felony offenses. A new MCC analysis shows that there is currently a high community demand for police services. They recommend that the NOPD reinstitute a centralized task force model that allows police to strategically identify and target violent felons who continue to pose a threat to community safety. “Every violent crime that goes unresolved by arrest fuels the vigilante cycle of retaliatory justice, thereby diminishing public confidence in law enforcement,” said Rafael Goyeneche, MCC president. “The foundation for prosperity is built upon public safety.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’ selection as the 2020 Democratic vice presidential nominee — and potentially the most consequential vice president in American history — is the crowning glory of more than 150 years of incredible work by countless suffragists who first fought for the right to vote and later battled for unfettered access to the top echelons of U.S. government. Though Hillary Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, Shirley Chisholm and others mightily aspired to reach the White House, polls currently show that the Biden-Harris team has more than a fighting chance to meet that goal. As America remembers the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which cracked open the doors for Harris and many others, there is no better way to celebrate than registering a friend or family member to vote. History tells us that the national women’s suffrage movement began in 1848 at the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, which was organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Mary Ann McClintock.
The suffrage movement started a little later in Louisiana because of an antebellum-influenced view of the Southern lady, delicate as a magnolia blossom in the spring. Southern males believed the women’s rights movement could only be attributed to an inferior Northern culture and likened it to abolitionism. Equality of the sexes was a blatant disregard of social distinctions, according to author Armantine M. Smith writing in the Louisiana Law Review. In 1861 men began leaving home to fight in the Civil War, thereby compelling womenfolk to take the lead in caring for children and the elderly.
Armed with the ruling yesterday (Aug. 5) by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk, which returned control of the Orleans Justice Center to Sheriff Marlin Gusman, the sheriff said he is moving ahead with his push to build a new facility to house inmates with severe health and mental health needs and to repurpose Templeman V as a temporary facility for COVID-19 inmates. “I’m trying to save lives,” said Sheriff Marlin Gusman after Wednesday’s ruling, as he discussed plans for new or repurposed health facilities for prisoners.
Court-appointed monitors reported in July that the OPSO was in partial or substantial compliance with the majority of federal reform provisions. Though Judge Africk returned control of the Orleans Justice Center to Gusman, the consent decree continues.
On Wednesday, Gusman said his immediate concern is containing the spread of the coronavirus within the prison walls. “NOPD officers are bringing known COVID-19 positive patients to the Orleans Justice Center,” Gusman said.
As she campaigns to become the second Black female and third Black jurist to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court, Civil District Court Judge Piper Griffin, 58, credits the nurturing she received during her teen years at Xavier Prep for her courage and tenacity. “The nuns told me I could do anything if I put my mind to it, and I believed them,” said Judge Griffin. Her first dream, however, was to become an astronaut. “I loved exploring and being exposed to different things,” she said. When Judge Griffin began college at the University of Notre Dame, she realized aerospace engineering was not her forte.
After 5 years as a Civil District Court Judge in Orleans Parish and 20 years as a Judge on the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, I look forward to the honor and opportunity to serve our state as a member of our highest court, the Louisiana Supreme Court. If you missed our official “virtual” announcement on the Committee to Elect Judge Terri Love Facebook page, click to watch the video below. Please share our exciting news!
In addition to our announcement, visit my campaign committee’s website, judgeterrilove.com, to learn more about me and my campaign. I hope I can count on your support and vote.
An alphabet of sitting judges quickly appeared yesterday at the Clerk of Criminal Court’s office yesterday morning to qualify for re-election. Judge Kern Reese wore a traditional white linen suit and carried a straw hat, as did Judge Ben Willard. Judge Paul Sens was handsome in seersucker. The theory is that incumbents qualify on the first day to ward off challengers. One jurist who was conspicuous by his absence was Criminal Court Section D Judge Paul Bonin, rumored to be entering the race for district attorney.
When Terri Love arrived on the Trailways bus from her native Birmingham, Alabama, to attend Tulane University School of Law on a scholarship, little did she know that almost 30 years later she would be seeking a seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court. The daughter of two civics teachers, Judge Love had always planned to run for mayor of Birmingham until she met Judge Israel Augustine, who convinced her that the judiciary was her true calling. A member of the Louisiana Court of Appeal 4th Circuit, Judge Love proudly points to what she calls her exceptional legal training, extensive post-law-school judicial education, 25 years of appellate and trial court service and ongoing commitment to public service. “These are challenging times, but I am very excited about running for our state’s highest court,” Judge Love said. “I believe my credentials have prepared me to serve.
“America needs a national plan to deal with COVID-19 that includes testing and PPE in order for our schools to re-open safely,” said New Orleans math teacher Peter Wenstrup, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 3 election. One of four candidates challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, Wenstrup announced his candidacy July 1 via video and social media.
Wenstrup points to the return of the NBA and the aggressive testing program within President Trump’s inner circle as examples of how life and operations can continue “close to normal” when regular testing and personal protective equipment are available. “It represents a failure of leadership when we don’t have that same level of support for regular people,” he said.
A native of Seattle and longtime resident of Cincinnati who attended Brown University, Wenstrup moved to New Orleans because he was looking for “a warm and inviting place where people valued people first.” Wenstrup visited the city once during college and wrote every school in New Orleans looking for a job before receiving an opportunity from Lusher’s CEO Kathy Riedlinger. He began work on Jan.
Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche said yesterday that NOPD Superintendent Shaun D. Ferguson deserves the highest accolades for his handling of the department since the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests began. “Chief Ferguson has been dealing with an issue that no police chief has had to deal with in 100 years,” Goyeneche said. “In the context of New Orleans, look at some of the unrest in other cities around the country. I want to give him nothing but an A as to the way things have gone here. “New Orleans had our George Floyd awakening 15 years ago on the Danzinger Bridge.