The state 5th Circuit Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court judge’s disqualification of Derrick Shepherd from the race for House of Representatives District 87.
In a ruling issued Thursday morning, an appeals court panel said 24th Judicial District Court Judge Stephen Enright ruled appropriately when he found the state Attorney General’s Office hadn’t been served in time to consider Shepherd’s constitutional challenge to the law that prevents convicted felons from running for state and local office.
Enright disqualified Shepherd last week but ordered his name kept on the ballot while his appeal was heard.
Shepherd, a former legislator who pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2008 and served two years in prison, contends that the law preventing him from running is null and void because it is not identical to the version passed by the legislature.
Like Enright, the appeals court panel did not take up the substance of Shepherd’s argument against the law, though he has another case that is expected to be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
Shepherd won that case at the state level when Baton Rouge Judge Wilson Fields ruled on Tuesday that the law barring felons from running was unconstitutional. The state has said it will appeal that ruling directly to the state Supreme Court.
-Stay with The New Orleans Advocate for more on this story as it develops.