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The Law of the Landry

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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) just won’t take no for an answer. Two times his decisions have been rebuked by state courts, but he insists on fighting on. The latest rejection came Wednesday, courtesy of 19th Judicial District Court Judge Todd Hernandez, who agreed with Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) that the governor exceeded his authority in demanding that organizations surrender their beliefs as a condition of winning a government contract.

In an executive order eerily similar to Barack Obama’s, Governor Edwards decreed that any company or organization that wants to contract with the state government has to first adopt special privileges for people who identify as LGBT — including the unsafe (and unpopular!) policies on gender-free bathrooms and showers. Not so fast, said Attorney General Landry, who argued that the decision was not only unconstitutional but unethical. To put the brakes on the lawless order, Landry stopped approving and enforcing the contracts. This week, Judge Hernandez backed him up in that decision, ruling that the governor’s policy “creates new and/or expands upon existing Louisiana law, as opposed to directing the faithful execution of the existing laws of this state.”

Still, Governor Edwards seems intent on wasting time and money by dragging the issue out in court, filing yet another appeal in what is now a two-lawsuit battle. Landry, on the other hand, is confident that most courts will see the issue as he does. “My challenge has always been about upholding the checks and balances on executive authority as established in our state Constitution.” Men and women with conservative views shouldn’t be disqualified from government work because they hold natural views on marriage and sexuality. And if the Left disagrees, they should raise the issue legislatively — not abuse their power to force their personal agenda on the state.

Unfortunately for Governor Edwards, this idea already failed “by large bipartisan majorities in the legislature.” That’s when “he took it upon himself to replace the people’s will with his own,” Landry argued. At least for now, the policy has failed in the courts too. At some point, let’s hope the governor gets the message that squeezing Christians and conservatives out of the government is un-American. Individuals, employers, and businesses have the same conscience rights as everyone else, regardless of who they’re partnering with. Thank goodness Jeff Landry understands that!

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