Letters: It’s not too late to review lookback law ruling

Nola.com [New Orleans, LA]

April 22, 2024

By Roger Stetter


A divided Louisiana Supreme Court ruled recently that legislation opening the courthouse doors to the victims of clergy sex abuse deprives alleged child predators and their enablers of due process of law.

It is not often that the Legislature speaks with one voice. But it did so in this case, based upon compelling evidence that the trauma of childhood sexual abuse lasts a lifetime. The court’s majority decision ignores this evidence and flouts the will of the legislature.

As explained in the dissenting opinion of Chief Justice John Weimer, the legislation clearly does not violate due process, any more than countless health and safety regulations that serve a rational public purpose.

In a footnote, the majority opinion states that the passage of time makes it impossible to mount a viable defense since witnesses have died and critical documents have been lost. In point of fact, the church carefully maintains records, and child sex abuse almost never happens in front of a witness.

It is not too late for the Louisiana Supreme Court to correct its decision. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.