Ludovic Bertron / Wikimedia

A federal judge has upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriages, as well as the state's refusal to recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman's ruling Wednesday broke a string of 20-plus court wins for supporters of same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

Feldman said gay marriage supporters failed to prove that the ban violates equal protection or due process provisions of the Constitution.

A federal judge in New Orleans has upheld Louisiana's law banning same-sex marriage. The decision is the first break in a string of more than two dozen federal court rulings that have struck down same-sex-marriage bans in other states over the past year.

BP wants a federal judge to remove Patrick Juneau as administrator of damage claims from its 2010 oil spill.

BP says in court documents that he failed to disclose a major conflict of interest.

The motion filed yesterday says Juneau represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process, and he pushed for favorable terms for those with claims.

BP says that shows he's not the neutral person required for the job.

Juneau says he will respond in court.

A state judge has ruled against Gov. Bobby Jindal in a lawsuit filed by Common Core supporters, lifting a contract suspension Jindal enacted to derail the multi-state education standards.

Judge Todd Hernandez issued a written ruling Tuesday.

He said Jindal's suspension of contracts the education department planned to use to buy testing material aligned with Common Core is causing harm to parents, teachers, administrators and students.

Derek Bridges / Flickr

Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt has lost a bid for a new trial.

The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that federal judge Ivan Lemelle ruled Wednesday that jurors were not "tainted in any way" by a former federal prosecutor who posted online inflammatory comments about the proceedings.

She was convicted in 2011 of racketeering.

Gill Pratt's attorney says he will appeal the decision.

The ruling paves the way for Gill Pratt to begin serving a federal prison sentence she has managed to put off for several years.

Orleans Parish recently created a permanent family court judge position. Legal aid attorney Bernadette D’Souza is the first to hold the post.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks to Judge D’Souza about how she got from a convent in India to a courtroom in Louisiana.

To read more about Bernadette D'Souza, visit

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other crimes.

He was convicted Feb. 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. The indictment included 21 counts.

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is set to be sentenced Wednesday morning for corruption. the man who gained national attention after Hurricane Katrina nine years ago is now looking at a possible 20-year sentence. Prosecutors want the maximum allowed under federal guidelines.

Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.

By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.

But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.

BP is stepping up efforts repayment of claims it finds unjustified.

The company is battling the system established to cover damage caused by BP’s oil spill four years ago in the Gulf of Mexico.