Marcus R. Clark
|Marcus R. Clark|
Associate Justice of the
Louisiana Supreme Court (District 4)
October 2009 – Retiring summer 2020
|Preceded by||Chet D. Traylor|
Associate Justice of the
Louisiana 4th Judicial District Court
1997 – 2009
|Preceded by||John Joyce|
|Succeeded by||Frederic C. "Fred" Amman, III|
|Born|| February 24, 1956|
Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish,
|Spouse(s)||Allyson Ayers Clark (married 1990)|
|Residence||West Monroe, Ouachita Parish|
|Alma mater||Sulphur (Louisiana) High School|
Marcus R. Clark (born February 24, 1956) is a Republican departing member of the Louisiana Supreme Court, which convenes in New Orleans. A a resident of West Monroe in Ouachita Parish, Clark was elected to the state's highest court in a special election held on October 17, 2009, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Republican Justice Chet D. Traylor, then of Monroe, formerly of Winnsboro in Franklin Parish. In 2010, Traylor failed in his primary challenge to U.S. Senator David Vitter.
Late in 2019, Justice Clark announced his retirement, effective in the summer of 2020, from the Supreme Court. He is midway in his current ten-year term.
Clark was born in Sulphur, near Lake Charles, in Calcasieu Parish in southwestern Louisiana to Charles Gerald Clark and Hilda W. Clark (1922–2009). He graduated in 1974 from Sulphur High School and was an Eagle Scout in his youth.
He received his undergraduate degree in 1978 from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana University. Out of college, he served from 1978 to 1982 as a detective for the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department. He entered Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, from which he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1985. He returned to Monroe after law school and was an assistant district attorney from 1985 to 1996, when he was elected to the state district court. In 1990, Clark married Allyson Ayers, a neo-natal nurse; the couple has two children.
District court judge
Clark was initially elected as a Democrat to the district judgeship in 1996 to succeed the retiring Judge John Joyce. He narrowly defeated Frederic C. "Fred" Amman, III, a Democrat who was thereafter elected in 2007 as one of three Monroe municipal judges.
In the primary held on September 21, 1996, Clark led Amman, 11,870 votes (33 percent) to 10,628 (29.5 percent). Two other Democrats received the remaining 37.6 percent of the ballots. In the November 5 general election, Clark prevailed, 26,828 votes (51.3 percent) to Amman's 25,424 (48.7 percent). Amman was elected without opposition early in 2010 to complete Clark's remaining term as district judgeand still sits on the district court. Amman is registered as "No Party."
In his first term as a district judge, Clark was sanctioned by the Louisiana Supreme Court when his mounting caseload caused him to fall behind in processing cases. He attributed the problem to his secretary taking maternity leave and the illness of his daughter, Nicole. The court held that the delay in processing the cases was a result of disorganization. Clark was reelected to the district court without opposition in 2002 and 2008. The sanctions became an issue by his unsuccessful opponent, Jimmy Ray Faircloth, Jr. (born 1964) of Pineville in the 2009 special election for the Supreme Court. Clark has been an outspoken critic of "frivolous lawsuits" and maintained that he had rejected attempts to abuse the court system while he served on the bench in Monroe.
Election to Louisiana Supreme Court
In the special election for the Louisiana Supreme Court, Clark defeated Jimmy Faircloth, a former executive counsel to former Governor Bobby Jindal. Subsequently, Jindal selected Faircloth to represent the administration in legal challenges to the state's 2012 educational laws. Clark and Faircloth evenly split the twenty parishes in the 4th District Supreme Court position. Clark prevailed, 28,521 (53 percent) to 25,495 (47 percent).
Clark's strongest turnout was in his home base of Ouachita Parish, where he defeated Faircloth, 14,253 to 5,322. While Faircloth won his home base in Rapides Parish, but his voter turnout there was insufficient to overcome Clark's districtwide lead. Rapides Parish voted for Faircloth, 8,461 to 2,193.
The victorious Clark also won Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Richland, Tensas, and Union parishes. Faircloth led in Bienville, Cathahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Rapides, West Carroll, and Winn parishes.
- Greg Hilburn (December 12, 2019). Supreme Court Justice Marcus Clark retiring. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved on January 5, 2020.
- 2009 Judicial Candidate Questionnaire Responses. llaw.org. Retrieved on March 21, 2010; no longer on-line.
- Louisiana Supreme Court justices: Marcus R. Clark. lasc.org. Retrieved on October 24, 2019.
- Johnny Gunter (March 20, 2010). Amman takes office as newest Fourth Judicial District judge". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved on March 20, 2010; no longer on-line.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, September 21, 1996.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 5, 1996.
- Fred Amman. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on October 24, 2019.
- Elected Officials (Ouachita Parish). Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on October 24, 2019.
- Pineville attorney Jimmy Faircloth joins state education debate. The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved on June 24, 2012; no longer on-line.
- Clark wins Supreme Court post. Concordia Sentinel (October 22, 2009). Retrieved on February 8, 2010; no longer on-line.