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Louisiana judge to retire at end of March

January 5, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A seat on the state district court in Baton Rouge will soon become vacant.

Judge Todd Hernandez, who has served on the 19th Judicial District Court since 2001, is hanging up his black robe at the end of March.

But he won’t be putting his law books away. Hernandez, 52, said he plans to resume practicing law in his home town of Zachary.

“I’m too young to retire. I have two kids in high school,” the father of four said with a grin.

Hernandez will leave with a year and nine months remaining on his current six-year term, The Advocate reported .

A special election will have to be called, but no date has been set.

“Yeah, I’m ready. Eighteen years, and it’s gone by fast. It’s been quite an experience,” Hernandez said during a recent interview. “I love what I do. I’m not leaving because I no longer love what I do,” he stressed.

Hernandez said he loved practicing law from 1989 to 2001, and knew when he became a judge that he would someday practice law again in Zachary.

“My purpose in going to law school was to help people,” he said.

Hernandez said with a smile that he also intends to help his dad take care of his cows once his judicial retirement takes effect.

Hernandez, a registered Republican, reflected on his role as a judge and said it was always to be fair and impartial and not “create law that I think is right.”

“I saw my role on the district court level as making the best decision I could based on the law and the facts,” he said. “I’m going to do what’s right. Doing the right thing is very seldom the popular thing.”

Hernandez, who has sent his retirement papers to the Louisiana Supreme Court, has a message for his eventual successor.

“Whoever replaces me, I hope they show the respect for the office as much as I tried to. It belongs to the people.”

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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