Firm Prevails in Constitutional Challenge to Elected Official’s Assumption of Office

April 11, 2019
B. Gene Taylor, III

Gold Weems attorney, B. Gene Taylor III, recently concluded a successful challenge to an elected official’s ability to hold office, resulting in the issuance of an injunction prohibiting a mayor-elect from assuming the position. 
 
The would-be mayor was elected on the same ballot in which Louisiana voters overwhelmingly passed Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2.  The Amendment forbids non-pardoned convicted felons from holding public office unless more than five years removed from completion of their criminal sentence.
 
The firm represented the incumbent-candidate who, although losing his bid for reelection, sought to prevent the mayor-elect from taking office based on the latter’s recent completion of a felony sentence.  Following an expedited trial, the court adopted Gold-Weems’ position, finding that the Amendment barred the mayor-elect from office and would not otherwise result in an unconstitutional retroactive application of law.   
 
The trial court’s decision was affirmed by per curiam opinion of the Louisiana Court of Appeal, and concluded with the Louisiana Supreme Court’s denial of supervisory review.  A special election will be held to fill the vacancy under the instruction of the Louisiana Secretary of State.
 
Click here for The TownTalk news article
 
Click here for Louisiana 3rd Circuit Appellate opinion