SNAP Reacts as Entire Second Circuit Recuses Itself from Case against the Diocese of Shreveport
In an unprecedented and baffling move, all nine justices of Louisiana’s Second Circuit court have recused themselves from a case against the Diocese of Shreveport. We hope that this decision does not slow down the plaintiff's march towards healing and justice and we call on the justices involved to explain their decisions publicly.
The case in question is a civil lawsuit for damages for child sexual abuse. The plaintiff is a man who alleges that he was raped and molested as a young boy by two men associated with the Diocese of Shreveport. On its own, the case is a depressing-yet-altogether-too-common story of the sexual abuse of a devout child at the hands of the religious figures that he trusted. But we are absolutely bewildered as to why every single justice within the Second Circuit court felt they needed to recuse themselves from hearing this case. We hope that the victim will get the day in court he deserves now that the matter has been transferred to the Fourth Circuit court.
So much of the legal process is already confusing to laypeople and we believe that this decision, absent a public explanation, may sow doubt and distrust among survivors and victims as to whether or not their lawsuits can be heard fairly in Louisiana, and especially in the Second Circuit court. For the good of all Louisianans, we hope that the justices involved explain their decision publicly and do so soon.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)