There is no question that Judge Jennifer Medley should have revealed the fact that she was one of the purported tens of thousands of New Orleanians to sign a petition to recall Mayor LaToya Cantrell; and then she should have recused herself from any and all hearings and legal proceedings related to that effort.
To be clear, as a citizen, she had every right to affix her name to that petition. As a judge, she had every responsibility to ensure that she did not preside over any legal challenges related to it.
Instead, not once but twice, the Judge has made decisions in the favor of the campaign being waged to remove Mayor Cantrell.
First, she ruled against elections officials’ motion to throw out recall organizer’s lawsuit, with its unsubstantiated allegations that tens of thousands of names were illegally on the Orleans Parish voter’s rolls. Then, she approved a deal between Secretary of State Ardoin, a Republican who has been quite vocal about his support of voter suppression tactics, and the recall organizers to reduce the number of names on the active voter rolls so that the number of required signatures would be reduced by 5000.
Now, ain’t that a blip!
And before any one dares to repeat that bull crap line about names not being taken off the active list or about this deal not stopping anyone from voting – DON’T. SERIOUSLY. DON’T
Because either one of two things has taken place:
- The active voter list was reduced by the removal of names. We say that because by state law, a successful recall petition in Orleans Parish requires a certain number of signatures, specifically 20 percent of the active voter rolls as recorded on the date the petition was filed with the Secretary of State’s office. If you reduce the number of signatures needed, you effectively had to reduce the active voter roll. Some names had to have been taken off the list. We don’t know whose names or why. And if any of those people show up to vote, they will only be able to cast provisional ballots.
- Like they say . . . they didn’t mess with the voter rolls at all. Ardoin only reduced the number of signatures needed for the recall ostensibly because he wants to promote the narrative that Orleans Parish voter rolls are filled with the names of people ineligible to vote here, providing him with the opportunity to press for laws that call for additional canvassing and purging of voter rolls, well-documented suppression tactics that Republicans are using across the country. But wait . . . that would mean that the Secretary of State is just arbitrarily making up rules and Judge Medley is approving deals that fly in the face of state law all to appease the recall campaign and feed the lies that fuel Republican-led voter suppression activity. Let’s just take state law and throw it out the window, why don’t you! It’s like Ardoin went straight Rebirth Brand! Do whatchu wanna! And Judge Medley signed off.
We are unnerved by either scenario. You should be too.
Fair and Impartial: The World Will Never Know
Almost as bad as Medley’s failure to do better by the people of New Orleans are the so-called judicial experts waffling on whether or not she broke any rules by not recusing herself.
The local daily quotes one such individual in a report today (March 9), wherein Lafayette attorney Clare Roubion says that just because Medley signed the petition does not mean she is “so invested or interested in outcome that she could not be fair or impartial.”
Child, we don’t know about the rest of y’all, but over her at The New Orleans Tribune, we are capital “T” – TIRED of folks peeing on our heads and telling us it’s rain. Apathetic voters or people who don’t want to recall an elected official, for whatever reason, don’t sign recall petitions.
She signed the petition. She is invested. And interested.
We’ll walk you through it:
- Signing the petition is a very clear indication that Medley is in favor of efforts to recall Cantrell.
- When you are in favor of something or stand in support of it, you are most certainly concerned about the outcome of it.
If judicial ethics in the state of Louisiana don’t spell that out, then it’s time to revisit judicial ethics in the state of Louisiana.
By the way, recusing themselves from cases in which they might have any connection or even the slightest involvement is not necessarily something judges do because they lack the ability to be fair and impartial in those cases. They often do it to eradicate the slightest appearance of any impropriety or bias in those matters.
Is it possible that Medley could be impartial and unbiased in her rulings, in spite of the fact that she affixed her name to the recall petition? Absolutely . . . unfortunately the world will never know. Sure, Medley could have signed the petition, been concerned about the outcome and still presented as completely unbiased and impartial on all judicial matters relative to the recall. Want to know how a judge does that? They recuse themselves.
Once again, somebody has to say it. And since no one else will, here we go: The best thing Judge Medley could have done to show that she didn’t have a dog in this fight would have been to not show up at the dog fight. Every ruling or approval she has made or given in the matter ought to be revisited.