CONTACT PERSON: VALERIE WILLARD
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
| JULY 16, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This statement is being issued to clarify recent media accounts related to the dispute over the Office of the Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and to provide greater understanding of the procedures and operations of the state Supreme Court.
On June 13, 2012, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued Order No. 12-O-1342 which was signed by Chief Justice
Catherine D. “Kitty” Kimball on behalf of the court. The Order was entered as a means of resolving an unprecedented,
constitutional dispute that involves three justices by allowing an opportunity for those asserting a claim to present their
legal argument to the Court. At issue is who has more seniority for the purpose of ascending to the Office of Chief
Justice upon the retirement of Chief Justice Kimball in early 2013.
The Order notes the recusation of the three justices with an interest in the outcome of the dispute, and assigns
three ad hoc (“for this purpose only”) justices. For this matter the Court selected the three Court of Appeal Chief Judges
with the most seniority as Chief Judge to participate.
Amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs may be filed, as always, pursuant to the procedure provided
under the Louisiana Supreme Court Rules, Rule VII, Section 12.
As with all matters before the Court, the Louisiana Supreme Court does not take a premature position
on any dispute that must be decided. It is for this reason that written briefs have been sought. Only after all
interested parties have made their positions known in writing and provided their legal arguments on the matter
in dispute will a written opinion be released by the Court, and then only after thoughtful review and discussion
has taken place and a majority vote cast.
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