Filed Under:  Local, News, Politics

Bookman enters race for Traffic Court judge

29th July 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Christopher Tidmore
Contributing Writer

Candidate Marie Bookman observed in an interview with The Louisiana Weekly, “There has never been a woman elected as judge to serve in Traffic Court for the Parish of Orleans in the history of New Orleans, although there are four seats and women are also patrons, defendants, victims and/or utilize that Court; therefore, it is time for a change in this Court.”

This fall, she hopes to win election to succeed Judge Ronnie Sholes, and become the city’s first female Traffic Court Judge. Announcing her candidacy this past Thursday, July 25, at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in Tremé, Bookman cited to this newspaper that her blend of experience, matched trailblazing desire, should fill the voters with the confidence to cast a ballot for her in October. “I would like to be a Traffic Court Judge because of my years of service as a Deputy City Attorney, a Magistrate Commissioner and an Attorney in this Community. I will bring over 28 years of experience as an attorney in this community, which includes 12 years of Judicial experience as a sitting Magistrate Commissioner in Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans, to Traffic Court to help improve that Court and make a difference.”

Bookman has run previously for Municipal Court, which requires an attorney to suspend their legal practice, but she argued that as an attorney, she takes on considerable public interest work, including, serving as one of the plaintiffs instrumental in the landmark Supreme Court case of Chisom vs. Roemer. The ruling led to the consent decree that allowed for the election of the first African-American Justice to the Louisiana Supreme Court, Revius Ortique.

Her platform directly addresses those who also fall through the cracks before the bench for which she runs. “We need to come up with a plan to help the youth who find themselves in Traffic Court for traffic violations to assure that they do not continue the patterns of behavior that got them there and to keep them and the community accident free and safe,” Bookman explained. However, she also added, “We need to also continue to be tough on repetitive drunk drivers and/or offenders, as well as implement programs that assist those in need of help with the proper treatment and/or services to assist them, so that they do not drink while driving or return to the system.”

It’s a reason why she views her court as necessary and opposes those who have called for New Orleans to abolish the Traffic Court. Other parishes do not maintain such a specialized bench, yet, Bookman argued, “Orleans Parish should not abolish Traffic Court, just as with the Civil and Criminal District Courts of this Parish. The unique make-up of this Community, the number of citizens, as well as non-citizens that utilize the Courts in this Parish and the jobs created in this community by having these Courts are a few reasons why it should not be abolished.”

This article originally published in the July 29, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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