Baton Rouge Municipal Court Judge Chris Hester qualified on Wednesday to run for a seat on the State First Circuit Court of Appeals for which Circuit Judge Toni Higginbotham is barred from standing. get re-elected because of his age.
Hester, a Republican who won the municipal court election in the fall of 2018, is a former deputy district attorney for East Baton Rouge parish and the son of late 19th District Judicial District Court judge Bob Hester.
Higginbotham, who has served on the 1st Circuit since 2010 and recently turned 74, was hoping to qualify for the November 3 election this week. But the Louisiana Supreme Court on Tuesday evening rejected requests by two judges to remove a mandatory retirement rule for all judges that prohibits them from being re-elected after the age of 70.
Just hours before attempting to qualify for re-election, the Louisiana Supreme Court effectively ended the judicial career of well- …
Judges are allowed to remain on the bench if they turn 70 during one of their terms, but cannot seek another term after the age of 70.
State District Judge Janice Clark of Baton Rouge and New Orleans Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell had challenged the age requirements in separate lawsuits with Clark, 73, and Cantrell, 72, both seeking to pursue another term on the bench.
Hester, 36, is running for the seat of 2nd District, Sub-District 1, Division A on the 1st Circuit based in Baton Rouge.
In another Circuit 1 race in the November ballot, Circuit Judge John Michael Guidry qualified for re-election to the seat of the 2nd District, Sub-District 2, Division D he currently holds.
Guidry, 58, has been a member of the 1st Circuit since 1997. He is a Democrat.