BATON ROUGE, LA, December 29, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Legal Lines with Attorney, Locke Meredith, interviewed Justice Jeff Hughes of the Supreme Court of Louisiana regarding his recent December runoff win against John Michael Guidry for one of only 7 seats on the highest court in Louisiana.
Justice Hughes grew up in a small town, Denham Springs, Louisiana, where he graduated Salutatorian from high school. He attended Louisiana State University where he earned a history degree, and then a Juris Doctorate Degree from LSU's "Paul M. Hebert" Law School. Justice Hughes began his career as the first attorney in another small town, Walker, Louisiana, where he practiced for twelve years. While in private practice, he handled cases dealing with many facets of the law, including civil, criminal, family, juvenile, and real estate.
Justice Hughes ran for and won as Judge of the 21st District Trial Court to replace a Judge with whom he disagreed about the manner in which the Judge ran his court. As Judge, Justice Hughes rotated and heard cases from three districts on mostly civil, criminal, and family matters. He presided over jury trials, murder trials, custody trials, and juvenile trials gaining much experience regarding intricacies of the Louisiana Judicial system.
After fourteen years as a District Court Judge, Justice Hughes ran for and was elected to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (the seat of Louisiana State Government), where he and eight other Judges heard appeals from sixteen parishes. During his eight years as an Appellate Judge, Justice Hughes sat on a panel of three Judges, and reviewed the record of the trial court (along with lawyer briefs) and rendered decisions regarding the trial court proceedings and findings. When very difficult or important issues were deliberated, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal would hear the case "en banc", meaning all eight of the Judges heard the case to render a decision.
Justice Hughes ran for and won a seat on the Supreme Court in December 2012, because of his 22 years of experience as a Judge at the trial and appellate level (more than any other candidate), and because he was qualified for the position. He ran and won on a platform promoting conservative views (pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-Traditional Marriage). As a conservative, Justice Hughes explained that he believes the purpose of the State and U.S. Constitution, our tri-part form of government, and the role of the judiciary is to protect the people from the government and to protect the freedom and rights of the people. He explained that the job of the Judge and a Supreme Court Justice of Louisiana is to apply the law that the legislature creates, and not to legislate from the bench.
Justice Hughes explained that his election to the court has created a Republican majority on the bench for the first time in the modern history of Louisiana. While he doesn't believe this fact will drastically change how the court operates, he does believe that this will change the philosophical lens through which cases are decided, interpreted, and applied to protect the freedoms of the people.