Judge throws out Gov. Edwards’ LGBT protections; Edwards vows to appeal

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A District Judge struck down an executive order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards today, ruling that Edwards unconstitutionally side-stepped the Legislature and created law.

The order, issued by Edwards to prohibit discrimination in state employment and by state contractors, wrongfully usurps Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s authority, according to 19th Judicial District Court Judge Todd Hernandez.

“I applaud Judge Hernandez for basing his ruling on the law, not politics,” Landry said in a statement. “My challenge has always been about upholding the checks and balances on executive authority as established in our State Constitution.”

Landry drew a connection between Edward’s executive orders and the 261 orders issued by President Barack Obama over the past eight years.
“I am pleased that the Court has enjoined the enforcement of John Bel’s executive order,” Landry said. “My office and I will continue to stand up for our Constitution and the democratic process.”

In a separate statement on the ruling Edwards expressed his disappointment with the outcome.

“We are disappointed in the court’s ruling today,” Edwards wrote. “However, we fully intend to appeal this issue, which is how the parties knew that this matter would ultimately be resolved. In his ruling, the judge declared that Louisiana law recognizes the governor as the constitutionally superior officer to the attorney general, but did not agree that the executive order is within the authority of the governor to implement.

“With great respect for the role of the Louisiana legislature, we continue to believe that discrimination is not a Louisiana value and that we are best served as a state when employment decisions are based solely on an individual’s qualifications and job performance,” Edwards continued. “We respect the trial court’s decision and will abide by it while we vigorously pursue an appeal.”