CHILD WELFARE NEWS
John Weimer, 66, of Thibodaux, took the oath of office this month as the state’s 26th chief justice. A ceremony marking his investiture was held in New Orleans on Thursday. Weimer fills the seat vacated by Bernette Joshua Johnson, who retired Dec. 31 after serving 26 years on the high court.
“I feel a profound sense of humility and the recognition of the obligation of service,” Weimer said. “I have served with three chief justices who have made their mark on the judiciary in special ways … I have learned much from each of them, and I promise to work hard to be dedicated to the principles of impartiality, independence and fairness while pursuing justice and acting with integrity just as my predecessors did.”
Weimer also mentioned CASA during his speech “The court also administers the Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA program, which involves extraordinary citizens serving as volunteers who have been specifically trained to assist those who are among the most vulnerable of society, abused and neglected children who through no fault of their own are involved in the legal system. These people are true children of God who serve the underprivileged and I can’t thank them enough for their efforts.”
The Courier reports that Gov. John Bel Edwards, who spoke at Thursday’s ceremony, said Weimer is becoming Louisiana’s highest jurist during one of history’s most difficult periods, with a global pandemic raging.
“John Weimer is the right person to lead this court during these challenging times,” the governor said.
Watch the full Investiture of Chief Justice John L. Weimer here.
ABOUT JUDGE JOHN WEIMER
He began his service on the Supreme Court in 2001 when he was elected to serve as an Associate Justice, District 6, comprised of the parishes of: Assumption, Iberia Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, and a portion of the west bank of Jefferson, which includes Grand Isle. In 2002 and again in 2012, Justice Weimer was re-elected to a 10-year term without opposition.
In 1998, he was elected to serve on Louisiana’s First Circuit Court of Appeal.
In 1995, he was elected to serve as Judge, Division A, of the 17th Judicial District Court and re-elected in 1996 without opposition.
He began his judicial career serving as Judge pro tempore, Division D, of the 17th Judicial District Court in 1993 following an appointment by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Judge Weimer was honored with the Outstanding Judicial Award from Victims and Citizens Against Crime and with the Outstanding Jurist Award from Crimefighters, Inc. – both statewide organizations dedicated to victims of crime. Additionally, Justice Weimer was honored by Common Sense Against Crime and Crimefighters with an Award of Merit. In 2006, Justice Weimer was named as one of the leading judges in America by a national publication, The Law Dragon. He also was recognized for his significant assistance in establishing the Lafourche Parish Drug Treatment Court.
He formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education. He frequently teaches at schools throughout the district he serves and re-established and coordinates the Lafourche Parish Student Government Day Program.
Prior to taking the bench, Chief Justice Weimer was a full time faculty member at Nicholls State University where he taught law and ethics classes for 16 years. He received the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence and was also named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He also served as director of the Free Enterprise Week Program at Nicholls. He practiced law in Thibodaux and was certified as a mediator.
Chief Justice Weimer serves as a volunteer in the Thibodaux Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Company No. 1, and previously served as a member of the Pastoral Counsel at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church for decades.
An award winning self taught amateur painter whose donated works have raised thousands of dollars for countless charities, Justice Weimer was commissioned to design the posters for the 2005 and 2007 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo. His paintings have also appeared on the cover of the Louisiana Bar Journal and were hung in an exhibit at the Historic New Orleans Collection.
Chief Justice Weimer was born and raised in Lafourche Parish, graduated from Thibodaux High School, and was an academic honors and Hall of Fame graduate of Nicholls State University, where he twice served as student body President. He received his Juris Doctorate from LSU. Chief Justice Weimer is married to Penny Hymel, a former elementary school teacher, who was born and raised in the River Parishes. They are the parents of three daughters: Jacqueline, Katherine, and Emily.