Tucker L. Melancon Article

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Tucker Lee Melancon
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
Assumed office
February 14, 2009
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
In office
February 11, 1994 – February 14, 2009
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Tom Stagg
Succeeded by Elizabeth Erny Foote
Personal details
Tucker Lee Melancon

(1946-02-03) February 3, 1946 (age 73)
Bryan, Texas
Education Louisiana State University ( B.S.)
Tulane University Law School ( J.D.)

Tucker Lee Melancon (born February 3, 1946) [1] is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Education and career

Melancon graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1968. He finished studies at Tulane Law School with a Juris Doctor in 1973. He was a managing partner at Melancon & Rabalais, private practice with his colleague, Rodney M. Rabalais, in Marksville, Louisiana, from 1973 to 1993.

On the unanimous recommendation of Louisiana U.S. Senators John Breaux and Bennett Johnston, Melancon was nominated by President Clinton on November 18, 1993 to a seat vacated by Tom Stagg as Stagg assumed senior status. Melancon was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 10, 1994 and received his commission the following day.

Bar Admissions [2]

Notable cases

Melancon has presided over a number of cases in his judicial tenure of fifteen years. He has heard a variety of trials, including class action, tax evasion, drug trafficking, cross burning, as well as issues where the First Amendment and Clean Water Act standards were at stake or being violated. However, his legacy might be his devotion to desegregation in public schools in the parishes which fall under his jurisdiction; St. Landry, Evangeline, and Franklin, among others. [3] [4][ dead link]

He sentenced one Evangeline Parish board member to ten days of incarceration with three days suspension, as well as high fines for criminal contempt (or contempt of court) a charge to which the board member had pleaded guilty for attempting to manipulate a court-ordered employment process. [5] One fine, US $3,000, was, according to Melancon, retribution for what he said was the board member's violation of the court's desegregation order. [6][ dead link] Melancon was cited in one Fifth Circuit decision as having been "heavy-handed" and tending towards "over management" in his dealings with the parish school boards on the desegregation issues [7]

In November 2009, Melancon was a visiting judge presiding over cases relating to the Staten Island ferry disaster in New York City. [8]


Melancon was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer in 2003. [9] After undergoing a mastectomy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission but resurfaced three years later. [9] His wife, Diana Moore, helped him carve out a raw foods diet they learned from the Hippocrates Health Institute in Palm Beach, Florida. [9]


  • "Nothing is more sacred than the First Amendment... You don't change the standard just because it involves minors." He said these words in August 2000 during the Skate Zone trial in Iberia Parish. [10]

Other Roles

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  1. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2005.
  2. ^ "Hon. Tucker L. Melancon - a Bridgeport, Connecticut (CT) Lawyer".
  3. ^ Consent Decree, Civil Action #15,632 (Monroe Division) US District Court, Western District of Louisiana Archived 2006-10-07 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Burgess, Richard (December 15, 2006) "School system's deadline remains". Baton Rouge Advocate
  5. ^ Vosper, Yuwa (December 15, 2006) "Board member gets jail time". Daily World
  6. ^ Burgess, Richard (December 16, 2006) "Savoy serving three days in jail". Baton Rouge Advocate
  7. ^ Burgess, Richard (May 18, 2005) "5th Circuit criticizes judge's "heavy-handed ... style" in desegregation case.
  8. ^ "Tough judge Tucker Melancon to decide final six bizarre ferry crash claims".
  9. ^ a b c " "Federal judge uses special diet in his fight against cancer" by Donna Britt, WAFB, TV Channel 9 news, December 25, 2008
  10. ^ "Owner asks judge to reopen skating rink closed for playing 'vulgar' music." Associated Press (August 3, 2000)
  11. ^ Board member's information, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading

  • Burgess, Richard: "Federal judge plans Evangeline School Board investigation". Baton Rouge Advocate. September 17, 2005
  • Burgess, Richard: "Family gets new cocaine case trial". Baton Rouge Advocate. September 1, 2006.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Tom Stagg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
Succeeded by
Elizabeth Erny Foote