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November 18, 2001

Chamber Group Hails Election of LA Supreme Court Justice

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 19, 2001 – James Wootton, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, hailed the election of Democratic Judge John Weimer to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Weimer, a State Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, defeated State District Court Judge Mary Hotard Becnel in a special run-off election on Saturday, November 17. Weimer will represent the Sixth Judicial District on the high court.

“Judge Weimer has an excellent record and a reputation for being an independent thinker,” Wootton said. “We believe Judge Weimer will enforce the law and resist the temptation to legislate from Louisiana’s highest bench.”

The 47 year-old Weimer, a former Nicholls State University law professor, received 32,618 votes to Becnel’s 31,435 – a 51 to 49 percent margin of victory.

Weimer, who joined the race very late, limited his campaign contributions to $500 per individual or organization, despite Louisiana’s $5,000 legal cap. Becnel, who outspent Weimer 3-to-1, refused outside contributions, choosing instead to finance 100 percent of her million-dollar campaign with funding from her personal injury trial lawyer husband, Daniel Becnel.

“Judge Weimer is clearly a principled man who is not afraid to fight for what is right,” Wootton added. “With such an underdog spirit, we believe he will prove to be an effective champion for legal reform in Louisiana.”

The Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is working to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer and faster for all Americans.

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