The decision to seek elective office is never an easy one, particularly when the office is a judgeship. Sitting judges tend to go unchallenged as incumbency carries extraordinary weight unmatched by other elective positions. In the 2020 election cycle two judgeships on the 23rd Judicial District bench opened up; and Cody Martin is seeking the Division B seat.
“Only after much reflection and soul-searching did Kim and I decide to run,” Martin said of his family’s decision to “take the plunge.”
Kim is Cody’s wife of five years and partner as the couple co-parent their blended family. Family is a big deal to the Martins and, ultimately, the reason Cody is running for the office. A life-long resident of St. James/Ascension whose law office is in Gonzales, Cody Martin understands the people of the 23rd Judicial District.
His opponent is a native of Chalmette who has practiced out of a Baton Rouge law office for 20 years without ever bothering to join the local bar association.
“We are grateful to have been blessed with a solid upbringing rooted in the simple values treasured by the people in the 23rd JDC. It’s that way-of-life I want to preserve for our kids; and your kids too,” Martin expressed “a governing principle of my judicial philosophy in these turbulent times.”
A big part of a 23rd District Court Judge’s duties involve family law; divorce with custody and visitation of children most importantly according to the candidate.
“Unlike other jurisdictions, we do not have a specialized Family Court in the district,” Martin explained. “I have the legal, and life experience to decide these issues fairly and impartially, always keeping the best interests of the child paramount.”
His “wide-ranging legal experience” better prepares Martin for the job, to paraphrase the candidate. Martin’s opponent has only practiced as an insurance defense lawyer.
23rd JDC jurists also preside over criminal proceedings, along with every class of civil case not reserved to federal jurisdiction. Cody Martin has been on both sides of bar. Since 2015 Martin has been an Assistant District Attorney in Ricky Babin’s office, and spent time in the 23rd JDC’s Public Defender Program (as thankless a task as the practice has to offer, but there’s no better path to gain courtroom experience) before that.
“No matter the litigant’s station in life, whether a criminal prosecution or civil matter, every individual before the court must be treated with Fundamental Fairness and enjoy Equal Protection of the Law. Ensuring it is the responsibility and sacred duty of the judge,” Cody Martin asserted. “Otherwise, our Constitution is meaningless.”
Currently, along with running his private law practice, Martin represents Ascension and St. James parish governments, another fount of experience providing particular insight into the peoples’ perspective.