John Victor Parker
|John Victor Parker|
|Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana|
October 31, 1998 – July 14, 2014
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana|
September 26, 1979 – October 31, 1998
|Preceded by||New judgeship|
|Succeeded by||James J. Brady|
|Born||John Victor Parker
October 14, 1928
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
|Died||July 14, 2014
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Cause of death||Congestive heart failure|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Fridge Parker (married c. 1950–2010, her death)|
|Relations||Judge Donovan W. "Mickey" Parker (brother)|
John Michael "Mike" Parker
Police Chief Fred C. Parker, Jr.
|Alma mater||Louisiana State University Law Center|
|Service/branch||United States Army Reserve|
Judge Advocate General's Corps staff (1952–1954)
John Victor Parker (October 14, 1928 – July 14, 2014) was a United States District Judge, best known for having ordered cross-town school busing as part of his oversight of the former East Baton Rouge Parish school desegregation suit, a case which he inherited when he was named to the bench and continued to manage until 2001.
Parker's colleague, Judge Brian Jackson, recalled that during the height of the desegregation controversy Parker had "received death threats ... was threatened with bodily injury ... and ostracized socially. What sustained him was his devotion to the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law."
Jackson noted too that Parker handled thousands of cases, including lawsuits emanating from a chemical leak from a barge of the Ingram Barge Company. Loaded with benzene and toluene, the barge capsized in 1997 across the Mississippi River from the Southern University campus. In 1985, Parker ordered a grand jury investigation of the General Services Administration because of a leaking roof and falling plaster at the federal courthouse in Baton Rouge. His efforts led to the $23 million Russell B. Long Federal Building, named for the late U.S. Senator Russell B. Long. The new structure, which opened in 1994, is three times the size of the predecessor facility.
Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Parker was one of five sons of Police Chief Fred C. Parker, Jr., and the former Laverne Sessions. Of his four siblings, only Whilden S. Parker survives. He graduated in 1945 from Baton Rouge High School and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1949 from Louisiana State University and a Juris Doctor in 1952 from Louisiana State University Law School. He was a member of the staff of the LSU Law Review and was affiliated too with the Order of the Coif. He was a founding member and first president of the Henry George McMahon American Inn of Court. Parker was a member of the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps from 1952 to 1954 and remained in the Army Reserve until 1964, when he left with the rank of captain. From 1956 to 1966, he was in private practice in Baton Rouge with his brother, Donovan W. "Mickey" Parker. When Donovan Parker was elected a judge of the state 19th Judicial District Court in 1966, John Parker became affiliated with the firm of Sanders, Downing, Rubin & Kean until his appointment as federal judge in 1979. From 1956 to 1966, he was an assistant parish attorney of the Baton Rouge combined city-parish government. Parker was a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Baton Rouge and president of Kiwanis International from 1976 to 1977. He was a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association and president of that organization in 1968.
On May 24, 1979, Parker was nominated by U.S. President Jimmy Carter to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana created by 92 Stat. 1629. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 25, 1979, and received his commission on September 26, 1979. He served as chief judge from 1979 to 1998. He assumed senior status on October 31, 1998, and remained on the court until his death on July 14, 2014, at his home in Baton Rouge. He took few cases, however, after the illness and death in 2010 of his wife of sixty years, the former Elizabeth Fridge. The couple had two sons, John Michael "Mike" Parker and wife, Sonja Caldwell Parker, and Robert F. "Bob" Parker, and a daughter, Linda P. Thompson and her husband, Dr. Christopher S. Thompson.
- Charles Lussier (July 15, 2014). "BR's U.S. Judge John Parker dies at age 85: Tenure began with desegregation case". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- "Judge John V. Parker obituary". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- "Federal Judge John V. Parker Dies", The Houston Chronicle, July 15, 2014
- John Victor Parker at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
James J. Brady