Oaths of office were recently administered in Thibodaux, as both Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice John L. Weimer as well as members of the Lafourche Parish School Board were sworn in for their new terms of office.
Thibodaux attorney Danny Cavell administered the oath of office to Chief Justice Weimer, who was first elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2001. This will mark Chief Justice Weimer’s final ten-year term on the Louisiana Supreme Court due to the mandatory retirement age for Louisiana judges. Chief Justice Weimer’s term will run through 2032.
Following his oath of office, Chief Justice Weimer then had the honor of administering oaths of office to members of the Lafourche Parish School Board. Prior to taking the bench, Chief Justice Weimer was a full-time faculty member at Nicholls State University where he taught law and ethics classes for 16 years. He received the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence and was also named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers multiple times. Having the oath administered before the School Board and administering the oath to School Board members symbolizes the Chief Justice’s commitment to education and demonstrates how important education is to a properly functioning democracy and the importance of education to individuals and our communities, state and nation.
As evidence of his commitment to promoting civic education, Chief Justice Weimer’s first act was to send all Louisiana judges a letter on January 1, 2021, encouraging them to become active teachers: “Judges have a unique opportunity to educate the community about the law and our legal system, and I urge my colleagues on the bench to take advantage of opportunities to teach – especially to teach our young people about respect for the law, personal responsibility, and consequences of inappropriate behavior.” Judges statewide have embraced this opportunity to positively engage with students in classroom or courtroom educational settings to support Louisiana’s teachers and schools in civic or law-related education. Based on reported numbers, 111 judges took part in educational outreach initiatives as part of “Judges in the Classroom/Students in the Courtroom” programs in 2022, which impacted nearly 11,500 students across the state.
A native of Lafourche Parish and Thibodaux, Chief Justice Weimer became the 26th Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court January 1, 2021. Under the Louisiana Constitution, the senior justice in point of service serves as Chief Justice and as the chief administrative officer of the judicial system. The Louisiana Supreme Court is composed of seven justices – one Chief Justice and six Associate Justices – elected from districts across Louisiana.
Chief Justice Weimer began his judicial career with a 71⁄2 month appointment by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as Judge pro tempore of the 17th Judicial District Court in 1993. Two years later, in 1995, he was elected to serve as Judge of the 17th Judicial District Court, and was re- elected in 1996 without opposition. In 1998, he was elected to serve on the Louisiana Court of Appeal, 1st Circuit. In 2001, he was elected as an Associate Justice to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Chief Justice Weimer was subsequently re-elected without opposition to full ten-year terms in 2002, 2012, and in 2022. Since 2001, he has been dedicated to serving District 6 comprised of the parishes of: Assumption, Iberia, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, and a portion of the west bank of Jefferson, which includes Grand Isle.
Newly elected Lafourche Parish School Board members include Tina Naquin Babin (President), Valerie Bourgeois (Vice President), Dr. Dennis Guillot, Myron Wright, Marian Fertitta, Clyde “Joey” Duplantis, III, Jamie Marlbrough, Leslie Wells, and BuffyLynn Charpentier.