A law that prevented Derrick Shepherd from running for office with a felony conviction on his record was declared invalid Wednesday (Jan. 27) by the Louisiana Supreme Court. "I'm so happy to be validated," Shepherd said, describing himself as "on cloud nine."Technically, the court ruled that the law was passed in an invalid fashion due to a discrepancy in the wording of the bill that passed the legislature compared to the ballot measure approved by voters. So the ruling isn't really based on any sort of voting rights principle.
Perhaps it should be, though. If people want to vote for or against a convicted felon, why should they not have the right to do so? That's an argument for a later time, though. We'll have to make it again should the legislature take the issue up later this year. But for now, Vote For The Crooks if you've got 'em.
Speaking of which, might we have Derrick Shepherd to kick around in the meantime? Maybe!
But he also might take a shot at running for federal office, which does not have the same prohibition. He said he's received calls encouraging him to run for U.S. Sen. David Vitter's seat.
"I never thought about running for United States Senate, but hey, it's something to look at," Shepherd said. "When the Supreme Court validates you and tells you 'You're right, you can have a second chance,' maybe the people of Louisiana would agree and allow me to have a second chance, too."