Edwards calls on 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie LeBlanc to resign

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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BATON ROUGE — Governor John Bel Edwards today called on 23rd Judicial Judge Jessie LeBlanc to resign after she admitted to using racial slurs in reference to an Ascension parish deputy and a court employee.

On Monday, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., called for the resignation of the Louisiana judge for allegedly using the ‘N-Word’ in texts referring to government employees.

The text messages reportedly show 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie LeBlanc using the racist term while referring to an African-American deputy and law clerk.

In a statement, CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen said, “We call on Judge LeBlanc to resign because her use of racist and derogatory language would indicate that any judgment she makes could be colored by racial bias and that the law would not be applied in an equitable manner.”

Governor Edwards said, “The admitted and repeated use of racial slurs by a judge who has taken an oath to administer justice fairly and impartially is wrong, period. There is never any circumstance or context in which such derogatory and degrading language is okay.”

Edwards said that, sadly, inequities still exist in society and in our judicial system.

“Judge LeBlanc has compromised her ability to preside as a judge, and she has damaged the judiciary,” he said. “ She should resign. The people of the 23rd Judicial District and our state deserve better.”

LeBlanc is the Division D Judge for the 23rd Judicial District, which is located in Gonzales and serves Ascension, Assumption and St. James Parishes. She has served on the court since she was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2014, when she ran unopposed. Her term expires on December 31, 2020.