Justice Marcus R. Clark
Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Marcus R. Clark announced that he is stepping down from the bench next summer, four years into his 10-year term.
Last fall, Clark took a medical leave from the court, the Ouachita Citizen reported. Clark has not announced what medical issues, if any, he faces. He has said that he will leave office June 30, 2020.
Clark was appointed to the court in 2009 to fill the seat of retiring Justice Chet Taylor. He was later re-elected to a 10-year term in 2016, when he ran unopposed.
Clark, a Republican from Monroe, went to law school at Louisiana State. Before then he was a detective in the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s office in Monroe where he made his name in the parish district attorney’s office prosecuting felony drug offenders.
An election to name Clark’s replacement will be held Nov. 3, 2020. If needed, there will be a runoff Dec. 5, 2020.
There are seven justices on the Louisiana Supreme Court. In the fall 2019 election to fill the most recent vacancy, four candidates vied for the position, spending several million dollars in a fiercely contested campaign. Judge Will Crain of Madisonville handily defeated Judge Hans Liljeberg of Metairie in the runoff on Nov. 16, in a race that pitted the business establishment against trial attorneys.
Crain had strong backing from the Louisiana business community. Liljeberg received large contributions from groups supporting trial attorneys.
Several Republican judges and one Democrat have said they are considering running for Clark’s seat.
These include Court of Appeals judges Jay McCallum of Farmville, Jimbo Stephens of Baskin and Shannon Gremillion of Alexander, along with District Court justices Wendell Manning of Calhoun and Danny Ellender of Mer Rouge. Gremillion is the only Democrat among the five.
Clark was elected district judge to the Fourth Judicial District Court in 1997. He served as a drug court judge from 2000-2001 for the newly formed Louisiana drug court program.