Judge Madeleine Landrieu

Judge Madeleine Landrieu

Contributed photo

Judge Madeleine Landrieu says she will submit her resignation at the end of June, a decision that has prompted speculation that she is seeking to tip the race to fill her seat on the state 4th Circuit Court of Appeal to her brother Martin.

Landrieu announced in February that she would be leaving her spot on the bench to become dean of the Loyola law school. But she is delaying submitting her official letter of resignation to the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office until June 30, which means the election to fill her seat will not occur until next spring.

If there are no other items on the ballot, the election to fill Landrieu’s spot could spur a costly election. Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes are all covered by the 4th Circuit, but the election would be held only in Orleans. The state would bear the cost.

Landrieu is set to start work at Loyola on July 1. If she submitted a letter announcing her plans to retire by Wednesday, the election would be held this fall, when numerous other races will be on the ballot in New Orleans.

Martin Landrieu, an attorney and Lakeview neighborhood activist, announced in March that he will seek to fill his sister’s spot on the bench. Orleans Criminal District Court Judge Robin Pittman also intends to seek the seat on the appeals court.

An unsigned leaflet being circulated in political circles claims that Madeleine Landrieu’s delayed resignation is calculated to help her brother. A spring election would likely attract a lower turnout, which the leaflet says would favor Martin Landrieu.

Madeleine Landrieu said she is aware of the rumors but that her brother’s bid has played no role in her decision-making.

“When the race gets called, it’s not really in my thinking,” she said. “There are cases that require my attention.”

Landrieu predicted that there will be other races called for the spring in addition to the one to fill her spot on the bench. She called both Pittman and her brother “fabulous” candidates.

Meanwhile, a Pittman adviser said he is not worried by the later election date. “What other people do and when the campaign is run really is irrelevant to us,” said Bill Rouselle.

Both Landrieus are siblings of Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  

Follow Matt Sledge on Twitter, @mgsledge.

msledge@theadvocate.com | (504) 636-7432