NEW ORLEANS — Civil district-court candidate Suzy Montero has the right to run campaign ads against her contender for a seat on the Orleans Parish Civil District Court bench, according to the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.
The court issued a March 29 ruling to both reverse and vacate the preliminary injunction delivered upon Montero for dispensing campaign ads against contender and fellow attorney Rachael Johnson, who is also the daughter of Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson.
Montero in her ads said that Johnson’s legal expertise is not what it seems, rather she is running of the coattails of her mother. According to Montero, Johnson practiced in Louisiana for six years, has limited court experience and lacks what is needed to be a judge, The Advocate reported.
Vying against Montero, Johnson distributed campaign ads against reminding the public of the Montero’s $15,000 lien against her for a late tax filing in 2008.
Bottom line, Montero had a right to have her ads circulate, per the appeal that said “the judgment is overly broad and vague,” and “moreover, the trial court made no finding of knowing falsehood,” on behalf of Montero.
“Our campaign has always advanced the belief that a judicial candidate's experience matters and that voters should be able to compare the depth of experience each candidate brings to the race,” Montero told the Louisiana Record.
Now that a decision has been made, moving forward is what matters most to Montero.
“Our campaign has previously provided a press release on this issue,” she said, while also forwarding a copy of the 4th Circuit's ruling vacating the trial court's preliminary injunction.
“Our campaign is focused on the April 29 runoff and will not be in a position to comment on the 4th Circuit's decision any further until after the election,” Montero said.
The winner of the election will replace former Civil District Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods, who now sits on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.