Adrian G. Duplantier

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Adrian G. Duplantier
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
In office
May 31, 1978 – March 6, 1994
Preceded by R. Blake West
Succeeded by Eldon Fallon
Louisiana State Senate from Orleans Parish (later District 4)
In office
Preceded by 8 at-large members from Orleans Parish
Succeeded by Sidney J. Barthelemy
Judge, New Orleans Civil District Court
In office
Personal details
Born Adrian Guy Duplantier
March 5, 1929
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died August 15, 2007(2007-08-15) (aged 78)
Resting place Lake Lawn Mausoleum in New Orleans
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sally Thomas Duplantier

Adrian Guy "Casey" Duplantier, Jr.
David L. Duplantier
Thomas R. Duplantier
Jeanne Marie Duplantier
Louise Marie Cragin

John "Sandy" Duplantier
Alma mater

Jesuit High School
Loyola University School of Law

University of Virginia School of Law
Occupation Attorney, legislator, judge

Adrian Guy Duplantier Sr. (March 5, 1929 – August 15, 2007), served from May 31, 1978, until his death as a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He was also a former four-term Democratic member of the Louisiana State Senate, having represented Orleans Parish.

Early years[edit]

Duplantier (pronounced DEW-PLAHN-SHAY) graduated in 1945 from the Roman Catholic Jesuit High School in his native New Orleans. He then attended Loyola University School of Law, from which he graduated cum laude in 1949. He was editor-in-chief of the Loyola Law Review from 1948 to 1949. Duplantier was in private practice from 1950 to 1974. He was first assistant district attorney for Orleans Parish from 1954 to 1956. In 1960, he was cited by the Junior Chamber of Commerce as the "Outstanding Young Man in the Greater New Orleans Area".

State senate service[edit]

In 1960, Duplantier, a civil rights advocate, was elected to the state Senate at the time of the return of segregationist James Houston "Jimmie" Davis to the Louisiana governorship. In 1962, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New Orleans, having been endorsed by the retiring deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison, Sr., who had also been Davis' principal opponent in the 1959-1960 election cycle. Though he received 96.7 percent of the African American vote in the primary runoff,[1] Duplantier was defeated by Victor H. Schiro, the last segregationist to have been mayor of the "Crescent City". Schiro then handily prevailed in the general election over the Republican Elliot Ross Buckley, an attorney and a cousin of newspaper columnist William F. Buckley, Jr.

Duplantier was re-elected to the Senate in 1964, 1968, and 1972, having served under the two terms of Governor John McKeithen, another Morrison rival, and the first two years of Edwin Washington Edwards' first term.

As district judge[edit]

Duplantier resigned from the Senate in 1974 to become a judge of the Civil District Court in New Orleans, where he served until his appointment to the federal bench four years later. Duplantier was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on April 24, 1978, to a seat vacated by R. Blake West. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 26, 1978, and received commission on May 31, 1978. He served on the court until his death, having assumed senior status in 1994. In 1988, Judge Duplantier earned a master of laws degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In 1991, Duplantier struck down an anti-abortion law passed by the Louisiana legislature over the veto of then Republican Governor Charles E. "Buddy" Roemer, III. The judge said that the statute conflicted with the 1973 United States Supreme Court opinion, Roe v. Wade, and he was legally bound to strike it down though such action was not his personal preference.[2] In 1996, Duplantier was appointed by then Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules.

Duplantier and two other Louisiana Democrats, former State Treasurer Mary Evelyn Parker and former State Representative Risley C. Triche of Napoleonville in Assumption Parish, were interviewed for the 2001 book Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card Against America's Poor. The three testified to their personal knowledge of racism in 1960-1961 in Louisiana against African American public assistance recipients.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Duplantier was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men's organization, and was an active parishioner of Saint Francis Cabrini and St. Pius X churches in New Orleans.[citation needed] He was also a fisherman and a gardener. He was a part-time professor at Loyola Law School. He was active in the alumni associations of Jesuit High School and Loyola University as well as Catholic Charities, the Association of Retarded Citizens and the Boys Hope / Girls Hope (BHGH) organization and was a co-founder of the New Orleans branch of BHGH. Jesuit High School inducted Judge Duplantier into its Hall of Honors.

Duplantier was a member of the board of directors of the Louisiana chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, and in 2002, he was the first non-French citizen to be inducted into the honorary "Compagnons de Beaujolais." Other memberships included the American, Louisiana, and New Orleans bar associations, the Louisiana State Law Institute and the Louisiana Bar Foundation.

Duplantier died of pancreatic cancer. He was married for fifty-six years to the former Sally Thomas, who survived him. His children include Adrian G. "Casey" Duplantier, Jr., and wife Kay of Williamsburg, Virginia, David L. Duplantier and wife Melanie of Madisonville, Thomas R. Duplantier and wife Susan of Lafayette, Jeanne Marie Duplantier and partner Leigh and Louise Marie Cragin and husband Tim, both couples of New Orleans, and John "Sandy" Duplantier and wife Suzie of Mandeville. Duplantier had two sisters, Yvonne Pugh of San Antonio, and Audrey Cerise of New Orleans; and six brothers, Warren Duplantier of Houston and the late F. Robert, Crozet, Leon, Earl, and L. Robert Duplantier. He had fifteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. David, Thomas, and John Duplantier, like their father, are Loyola Law School alumni. So is a grandson, Joshua Duplantier.

Services were held on August 18, 2007, at Jesuit High School in the chapel of North American Martyrs. Entombment was at Lake Lawn Mausoleum in New Orleans. He is remembered through the Judge Adrian G. Duplantier Memorial Fund, Loyola University School of Law, 7214 St. Charles Ave., Box 909, New Orleans, LA 70118. Prior to his death, Judge Duplantier was honored with an award from the Federal Judges Association created to acknowledge his accomplishments. The award will henceforth be known as "The Adrian."


  1. ^ William C. Havard, Rudolf Heberle, and Perry H. Howard, The Louisiana Elections of 1960, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Studies, 1963, p. 110
  2. ^ Sojourner v. Roemer, 772 F. Supp. 930 (1991).
  3. ^ Kenneth J. Neubeck, Noel A. Cazenave, Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card Against America's Poor, 2001. Google Books, p. x. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
8 at-large members (D)
Louisiana State Senator from Orleans Parish (later District 4)

Adrian Guy Duplantier, Sr. (D)

Succeeded by
Sidney J. Barthelemy (D)
Legal offices
Preceded by
R. Blake West
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Adrian Guy Duplantier, Sr.

Succeeded by