One is heartbreaking, about a judge (now a Supreme Court Justice) trying to fix a child custody case and place a kid back in a home with the man that burned the living hell out of him in the bathtub so the guy the judge was dating at the time could notch a win for his client. The Advocate told that story on Sunday and it represents yet another example of why Louisiana’s judiciary has such a terrible reputation nationwide.
There is also no doubt a story behind the story. Normally such dirt surfaces during an election campaign rather than one year after the guy wins a new 10 year term. That back story is one I’d sure like to know. The news cycle from days gone by gives us a small clue that the tips could have come from one of his colleagues given that he sued several of them in Federal Court trying to force his way onto a case involving litigants that contributed heavily to his campaign . The Louisiana Supreme Court generally does not air its dirty laundry in public so there is no telling how the gang is getting along after Hughes v Johnson.
Either way Judge Jefferson Davis Hughes doesn’t seem much different from Justice Jefferson Davis Hughes when it comes to wanting in on cases that he has outside interests and that is not a good thing for litigants that appear before him as impartiality does not seem to be the man’s strong suit.
If the story the Advocate broke does any good it will result in more transparency and accountability for a state that has previously been rated as a “judicial hellhole“. Richard Ducote, a candidate for Greg Guidry’s seat on LASC has already noted the Advocate story on his campaign Facebook page and pledged to work towards system reform. Such an attempt at reform died at this past year’s legislative session.
Normally such an unflattering story is followed by others. It will be interesting to see if anything else floats up to the surface with Hughes.