Last modified on April 29, 2021, at 18:01

Roy Brun

Roy Louis Brun​

Judge of the 1st Judicial District Court in Caddo Parish​, Louisiana
In office
January 1997​ – February 1, 2014

Louisiana State Representative for
Caddo Parish (District 5 in Shreveport)​
In office
1988 ​ – January 1997​
Preceded by B. F. O'Neal, Jr.
Succeeded by Wayne Waddell

Born January 15, 1953​
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA​
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kimberly Bourgeois Brun​
Children Andrew Louis Brun​

Blaine MacGregor Brun

Alma mater Fair Park High School (Shreveport)​

Louisiana State University
​ LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center

Occupation Attorney and Judge
Religion Episcopalian

Roy Louis Brun (born January 15, 1953) is the administrator of the 1st Judicial District Court in Shreveport, Louisiana, who was earlier a Republican state representative from 1988 to 1997. Brun was considered to have been one of the more conservative members of the legislature during his nine years of service.​​[1] He was a court judge until 2014, when he resigned to become court administrator.[2]

Background

​ Brun (pronounced BRUNN) was the son of Edwin Louis Brun (1925-2013), a native of Shreveport who during World War II was attached to a mobile field hospital in the Solomon Islands in the battles of Guadalcanal and Bougainville in preparation for the liberation of the Philippines.[3] His mother was the former Faye Hendrick (1927-2012), a native of Portland, Maine, who met her husband in class at Union College, a Seventh-day Adventist institution in the capital city of Lincoln, Nebraska. Mrs. Brun was an award-winning history teacher, guidance counselor, and a supervisor of student teachers at Rusheon Junior High School in Bossier City under the jurisdiction of the Bossier Parish School Board. Through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, she evaluated educational institutions in both Louisiana and once during a two-week trip to the former Soviet Union.[4]

In his early working career, Edwin Brun was a pharmaceutical salesman. He became a science teacher and then counselor under the Caddo Parish School Board. The Bruns traveled throughout the world to augment their interest in various areas of knowledge ranging from wildflowers to telescopes. Edwin Brun's obituary implies that their son, Roy, was born in Baton Rouge, where he would later attend college and law school. The family did not settle in Shreveport until 1954, when Roy was one year old. The Bruns also had a daughter, Dr. Sylvia Brun Gage (born 1956). The senior Bruns are interred in her native Maine.[3]

Roy Brun is a 1970 alumnus of the since defunct Fair Park High School in Shreveport, from which his father had graduated in 1944.[3] Brun subsequently received his Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana State University and then his law degree through the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.[5] He is a member of the Louisiana and Shreveport bar associations. He practiced law in Shreveport prior to and during his legislative career.​

Brun is married to the former Kimberly Bourgeois (born 1962), and they have two sons, Andrew Louis Brun (born 1985), and Blaine MacGregor Brun (born 1987). Until he began his judicial service, Brun was a member of the Caddo Parish Republican Executive Committee and the Caddo Parish Board of Election Supervisors. For six years, he was the Louisiana Republican national committeeman.[6]

In 1982, Brun was a member of the Caddo Parish Home Rule Study Commission, which laid the groundwork for the establishment in 1984 of the Caddo Parish Commission, the parish governing body that replaced the previous police jury. Brun is a member of the Caddo-Bossier Association of Retarded Children. He is a past president of the Ark-La-Tex Gun Collectors. He is a member of Kiwanis International. The Bruns are members of the Holy Cross Episcopal Church in downtown Shreveport.

Early political activities

​ In 1975, at the age of twenty-two, Brun ran unsuccessfully for state senator. At twenty-three and still in law school, Brun was one of the youngest delegates to the 1976 Republican National Convention, which met in the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. Like the majority of the Louisiana delegatees, Brun was committed to the insurgent challenge of former Governor Ronald W. Reagan of California. When Reagan's intraparty rival, U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., narrowly won the GOP nomination, Brun with little enthusiasm at the time agreed to support the party ticket. In 1984, Brun was a Louisiana elector for Reagan and Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush.

Louisiana's key Republican leader, then U.S. Representative David C. Treen, then of Jefferson Parishin suburban New Orleans, supported Ford, though he had voted for Reagan at the 1968 convention]] held in Miami Beach, Florida. Treen had been unable to convince many of his fellow Louisiana delegates of the merits of a Ford nomination. Brun told The Shreveport Times, his hometown newspaper, after Ford's nomination that he would support the "dumb collectivist," meaning Ford, rather than the "smart collectivist," referring to Ford'ssuccessful Democratic challenger, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter.[7]

In 1978, Brun, the head of the Republican ballot security program, reported alleged vote-buying in Louisiana's 4th congressional district race between Republican Jimmy Wilson of Vivian in north Caddo Parish and the Democrat Anthony Claude "Buddy" Leach, then of Leesville in Vernon Parish. Leach defeated Wilson by 266 disputed votes in that race to succeed the retiring Democrat Joe Waggonner.​ In 1979, Brun uncovered a problem with seals on voting machines in Opelousas in St. Landry Parish in south Louisiana during the gubernatorial election. The serial numbers on the seals did not correspond with the tallies on the seals when the polls closed the Saturday night of the election, in which the Republican David Treen defeated the Democrat Louis Lambert.[8]​ ​

The 1987 legislative election

Brun ran for the legislature when his political mentor, State Representative B. F. O'Neal, Jr., announced his retirement, effective in 1988. Brun therefore entered the 1987 nonpartisan blanket primary for O'Neal's District 5 seat in the Louisiana House. He was one of eight candidates, four from each major party. He ran second with 3,542 votes (20 percent) to Democrat Walter F. Clawson, who drew 4,128 ballots (23 percent). The majority actually voted for the combined six other candidates, none of whom exceeded 14 percent of the vote.[9]

In the November 1987 general election, Brun defeated Clawson, 5,547 votes (54 percent) to 4,656 (46 percent). Clawson gained only five hundred votes between the primary and the general election, but Brun increased his raw vote by some two thousand ballots.[10]​ Though his initial election margin was not overwhelming, no candidates opposed Brun when he sought reelection in the primaries of 1991 and 1995.

Legislative record

Representative Brun introduced legislation called the "Justifiable Murder of an AIDS Carrier" bill. The legislation, had it been approved, would have made the killing of an AIDS carrier fall under "justifiable homicide" if a person had to fight off an attacker that he knew was carrying the deadly virus or even believed that the assailant was infected by the virus.[11]

In 1993, Brun worked with Democratic Representative Everett Doerge of Minden to repeal the Louisiana forced heirship law.[12]

In 1996, as his legislative career was winding down, Brun argued for raising the Louisiana speed limit to 70 miles per hour, comparable to the limits in much of neighboring Texas. That same year, he also worked in the unsuccessful presidential nomination bid waged by U.S. Senator Phil Gramm of Texas.[13]Gramm had been in a Democrat in 1976, when he ran unsuccessfully in the party primary election against U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen at the time Brun was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. In 1983, however, Gramm switched to Republican affiliation.​

In 1996, Brun was elected to the first of his six-year terms as a state district judge. He was reelected in 2002 and 2008. He resigned his legislative seat in 1997. He was succeeded by a fellow Republican, Leo Wayne Waddell, who won a general election contest over another Republican, Judy Gayle Dawson Boykin (born 1952), a member of the Caddo Parish School Board and a visible figure in the Religious Right in Shreveport, outspoken in support of school prayer, traditional values, and opposition to abortion, evolution, and homosexual preferences.​ ​

Judge Brun and the truck stop

​ Brun decided in the spring of 2005 that the Caddo Parish Commission, the governing body of the parish, had no grounds to block a permit for the construction of a five-acre truck stop bar and casino on Louisiana Highway 1 South of Shreveport adjacent to the Port of Shreveport-Bossier. When citizen-opponents to the project mobilized, Brun allowed the group to appeal his ruling against them.[14]

The Caddo commission denied a zoning variance for construction of the truck stop after the residents objected. Brun overturned the commission’s decision in a lawsuit quietly filed by the owner of the land at the proposed site. Judge Brun declared that the commission decision was "arbitrary and capricious." [14]

Mike Johnson, later a state representative and since 2017 the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 4th congressional district, was the attorney for the citizens objecting to the truck stop. Jhnson said, "The commission’s finding was legitimate and based directly upon the testimony and evidence presented by the citizens. The commission understood that the proposed operation would be a detriment to the surrounding area and place the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of this community at risk."[14] ​Area residents gathered nearly 1,300 signatures to express their concerns about the truck stop. The zoning board of appeals board had approved the project by means of a special use zoning exception for the developer, Bob Horn. The commission then voted 7-5 to deny the zoning exception.[14]

Unbeknown to the residents, a lawsuit was filed thereafter to challenge the commission’s decision. The residents first became aware of the lawsuit after Judge Brun ruled in the case on April 15, 2005. The commission voted not to appeal the ruling.[14] ​Opponents contended that a truck stop and casino would imperil nearby neighborhoods, businesses, churches, and schools by decreasing property values, increasing noise levels, and placing at risk young drivers and schoolchildren who stand at bus stops and ride bicycles along south Youree Drive.[14]

In 2006, the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that the Caddo Parish Commission was within its legal rights to override the zoning board decision that would have allowed the truck stop.​ Attorney Mike Johnson said that "When lawmakers have to choose between protecting a casino and bar or protecting our children and the community, the latter should be given the priority." The circuit court hence delivered a stinging rebuke to Judge Brun, who perceived the matter as one of a legitimate business developing property.​ ​ Approximately a year later, the zoning request for the truck stop was again brought before the Caddo Parish Commission. This time, the commissioners approved the request. The truck stop services vehicles in the Shreveport port area and sells some 300,000 gallons of fuel annually.​

Southern Trace Country Club discrimination suit

In 2003, two women challenged the existence of an all-male grill in the popular Southern Trace Country Club of Shreveport. They argued that the grill is a "public" facility under the law, and therefore subject to Louisiana statutes barring discrimination based upon sex. The club raised privacy concerns to justify its exlusionary policy. Judge Brun ruled that the all-male policy in the club's Men's Grille did not violate the state constitution because it did not constitute “arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable discrimination based on sex.”​ This decision was later appealed and reversed by the Louisiana 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on the grounds that economic factors and male preference are not an appropriate objective by which to justify discrimination.[15]

Judge Brun rules in favor of Shreveport police

​ ​Brun ruled in a 1999 case which cleared a Shreveport police officer, Kevin Strickland, who had been charged with wrongful homicide and negligence in the shooting death of then 28-year-old African-American suspect. Reginald Davis. Brun found no negligence on the part of the police department or officer Strickland, who had testified that a gun was found on Davis and that Davis attempted to use the weapon to shoot Strickland. ​

References

  1. Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024 (Caddo Parish). Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on May 15, 2020.
  2. Roy Brun. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on June 8, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Edwin Louis Brun. The Shreveport Times (February 7, 2013). Retrieved on May 15, 2020.
  4. Fay Hendrick Brun. The Shreveport Times (August 3, 2012). Retrieved on May 15, 2020.
  5. Roy Brun Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on May 15, 2020.
  6. Roy L. Brun. zoominfo.com. Retrieved on February 8, 2013; material no longer accessible on-line.
  7. The Shreveport Times, August 20, 1976.
  8. Shreveport Journal, December 10–11, 1979.
  9. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 24, 1987.
  10. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 24, 1987.
  11. ATTENTION!​ House Bill 290. Qrd.org (April 18, 1995). Retrieved on May 15, 2020.
  12. Minden Press-Herald, December 16, 1993, p. 1.
  13. Ralph Z. Hallow (February 7, 1996). Caucus Port-Mortem: Arrogance Cost Gramm: Buchanan Didn't Take Right for Granted. Questia.com. Retrieved on May 15, 2020.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 The Shreveport Times, April 28, 2005.
  15. Albright v. Southern Trace Country Club of Shreveport, Inc.. Caselaw.findlaw.com. Retrieved on May 15, 2020.

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