Johnell Matthews

Johnell Matthews

Baton Rouge landed a new city court judge this week and the woman who wanted the post not only lost by a 2-1 margin at the polls, but also lost 5-0 at the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal.

Johnell Matthews won the Aug. 15 election and was sworn in Wednesday afternoon after challenging Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to certify the election results and winning her court case.

Whitney Higginbotham Greene, who received 37% of the vote in the runoff, challenged the result, saying Matthews is ineligible to serve because she was past age 70, the mandatory retirement age for sitting judges.

After her initial challenge was dismissed by a judge in the 19th Judicial District Court, Greene sought an appeal in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge.

The 1st Circuit upheld the lower court's decision in a 5-0 ruling issued Friday.

The court argued that it could not overrule Matthews' commission now that she has been sworn in, and contended Greene was attacking Matthews' candidacy rather than the election itself — a matter that should have been addressed months before the race.

Email Jacqueline DeRobertis at jderobertis@theadvocate.com