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This is big.

Today the Louisiana Supreme Court reversed itself on rehearing in Bienvenu v. Defendant 1, 2023-CC-1194. That’s the case testing the constitutionality of legislation reviving claims for sexual abuse of minors after those claims had prescribed. On the first go-round, the LASC split 4–3 in holding the legislation unconstitutional, with Chief Justice Weimer and Justices Crain and McCallum dissenting. On rehearing, the split was 5–2 in favor of upholding the legislation, with Justices Genovese (author of the original opinion) and Hughes dissenting. To read the now-vacated original opinion, follow this link. To read the superseding opinion on rehearing, follow this link. For your court-watching scorecard: the justices who changed their position between the original hearing and the rehearing are Justice Crichton and Justice Griffin.

As you probably know, grants of rehearing in the LASC are rare, and rehearings resulting in a different result are even rarer. That in itself makes this case exceedingly rare. Then there’s the majority’s reasoning on rehearing, which, in the area of Louisiana constitutional law, is a bombshell. If you do any tort litigation in this state, you need to read today’s opinion.


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