Marcus R. Clark Article

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Marcus R. Clark
Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice (District 4)
Assumed office
2009
Preceded by Chet D. Traylor
Judge of the Louisiana 4th Judicial District Court
In office
1997–2009
Preceded byJohn Joyce
Succeeded byFrederic "Fred" Amman
Personal details
Born (1956-02-24) February 24, 1956 (age 62)
Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish
Louisiana, U.S
Political party Democrat-turned- Republican
Spouse(s)Allyson Ayers Clark (married 1990)
ChildrenNicole M. Clark

Cooper M. Clark

Ryouki M. Clark
Residence West Monroe
Ouachita Parish
Alma mater Sulphur High School
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Louisiana State University Law Center
Occupation Lawyer and Judge

Marcus R. Clark (born February 24, 1956) is a Republican member of the Louisiana Supreme Court from West Monroe, Louisiana, United States, who won his current position in a special election held on October 17, 2009, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Republican Justice Chet D. Traylor of Monroe, formerly of Winnsboro in Franklin Parish. In 2010, Traylor challenged U.S. Senator David Vitter for re-nomination in the Republican closed primary.

Early years and education

Clark was born in Sulphur in Calcasieu Parish in southwestern Louisiana to Charles Gerald Clark and Hilda W. Clark (1922–2009). [1] He graduated in 1974 from Sulphur High School and was an Eagle Scout in his youth. [2]

He received his undergraduate degree in 1978 from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana University. Out of college, he served from 1978-1982 as a detective for the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department. He entered Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, from which he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1985. He returned to Monroe after law school and was an assistant district attorney from 1985 to 1996, when he was elected to the state district court. [3] In 1990, Clark married Allyson Ayers, a neo-natal nurse; the couple has two children.

District court judge

Clark was initially elected as a Democrat to the district judgeship in 1996 to succeed the retiring Judge John Joyce. He narrowly defeated Frederic "Fred" Amman, a Democrat who was thereafter elected in 2007 as one of three Monroe municipal judges. [4]

In the primary held on September 21, 1996, Clark led Amman, 11,870 (33 percent) to 10,628 (29.5 percent). Two other Democrats received the remaining 37.6 percent of the ballots. [5] In the November 5 general election, Clark prevailed, 26,828 (51.3 percent) to 25,424 (48.7 percent). [6] Amman was elected without opposition early in 2010 to complete Clark's remaining term as district judge. [4]

In his first term as a district judge, Clark was sanctioned by the Louisiana Supreme Court when his mounting caseload caused him to fall behind in processing cases. He attributes the problem to his secretary taking maternity leave and the illness of his daughter, Nicole. The court held that the delay in processing the cases was a result of disorganization. Clark was reelected to the district court without opposition in 2002 and 2008. [2] The sanctions were used as an issue by his unsuccessful opponent, Jimmy Faircloth, Jr., in the 2009 special election for the Supreme Court. Clark has been an outspoken critic of "frivolous lawsuits" and maintains that he rejected attempts to abuse the court system while he served on the bench in Monroe. [2]

Election to the Supreme Court

As the Division E state Fourth Judicial District Court judge in Ouachita Parish, Clark defeated Faircloth, a former executive counsel to Governor Bobby Jindal, for a seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court. Jindal subsequently named Faircloth to represent the administration in legal challenges to the state's 2012 educational laws. [7] Clark and Faircloth evenly split the twenty parishes in the 4th District Supreme Court position. Clark prevailed, 28,521 (53 percent) to 25,495 (47 percent). Clark's strongest turnout was in his home base of Ouachita Parish, where he defeated Faircloth, 14,253-5,322. While Faircloth won his home base of Rapides Parish, his turnout there was insufficient to overcome Clark's districtwide lead. Rapides Parish voted for Faircloth, 8,461-2,193. [8]

The victorious Clark also won Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Richland, Tensas, and Union parishes. Faircloth led in Concordia, Bienville, Catahoula, Claiborne, Grant, Jackson, La Salle, Rapides, West Carroll, and Winn parishes. [8]

References

  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "2009 Judicial Candidate Questionnaire Responses" (PDF). llaw.org. Retrieved March 21, 2010.[ permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Louisiana Supreme Court justices". lasc.org. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Johnny Gunter, "Amman takes office as newest Fourth Judicial District judge"". Monroe News Star, March 20, 2010. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  5. ^ "Louisiana election returns, September 21, 1996". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved March 20, 2010.[ dead link]
  6. ^ "sos.louisiana.gov". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved March 20, 2010.[ dead link]
  7. ^ ""Pineville attorney Jimmy Faircloth joins state education debate"". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved June 24, 2012.[ permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Clark wins Supreme Court post". Concordia Sentinel, October 22, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Joyce
Louisiana 4th Judicial District Court Judge
1997–2009
Succeeded by
Frederic "Fred" Amman
Preceded by
Chet D. Traylor
Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice, Place 4
2009–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent