Louisiana Supreme Court Rules Child Victims Act Unconstitutional

“This decision silences survivors and allows abuse to continue unabated and without consequence to the offenders and the institutions that covered it up.” – Molly Burke, attorney

(New Orleans, Louisiana) – Today, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the Louisiana Child Victims Act law is “unconstitutional.” The “lookback window law” gave survivors of child sexual abuse in Louisiana an opportunity to take legal action, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.

“The Louisiana Supreme Court finding the statute of limitations to be unconstitutional is not only wrong, it is unprecedented.” – Jeff Anderson, attorney

For decades, lawmakers across the country have passed laws similar to the Louisiana Child Victims Act. However, this is the first time a state Supreme Court has found a law like this to be a violation of due process.

“It’s hard not to feel that victims have been victimized yet again,” said attorney J.R. Whaley. “This statute passed unanimously, twice, in the Louisiana legislature. Victims were brave to come forward and deserve to be heard.”

“This finding effectively protects predators, child molesters, traffickers, and exploiters of the weak, the vulnerable, and the youth,” said attorney Molly Burke. “This decision defies the will of the lawmakers who unanimously passed this legislation and endangers the safety of children across the state.”


On May 1, 2020, the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after being named as a defendant in dozens of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits. Historically, organizations such as Catholic Dioceses have used Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a shield to prevent jury trials and allow the institution to continue business as usual while maintaining its secrets.

On September 17, 2020, the bankruptcy court set a claims bar date marking the deadline by which all survivors of child sexual abuse by a priest or clergy member must formally file a claim with the court: March 1, 2021. Louisiana opened a civil window for adult survivors of child sexual abuse in 2021