We’ll have more when it’s over, but in Judge Billy Morvant’s courtroom in Baton Rouge tomorrow the case is being heard on whether that petition to reopen the state of Louisiana will be upheld as constitutional. Our wannabe dictator John Bel Edwards has anointed himself as the arbiter of constitutionality and refused to honor the petition as he’s required to do by state law, and so far he’s managed to get away with it.
Attorney General Jeff Landry is handling the case for the House of Representatives. Here was his press release on the subject…
On Thursday, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office will appear before the 19th Judicial District Court in Edwards vs. House of Representatives. At issue is whether the Governor must follow Louisiana law, including La. RS 29:768(B):
“The legislature, in consultation with the public health authority, by a petition signed by a majority of the surviving members of either house, may terminate a state of public health emergency at any time. This petition terminating the public health emergency may establish a period during which no other declaration of public health emergency may be issued. Thereupon, the governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of public health or emergency.”
Here is what you need to know about the law and the case:
- The Constitution clearly outlines a basic separation of power.
- The Emergency Powers Act provides the Governor enumerated powers delegated by the Legislature.
- The Governor is not granted authority to exercise police powers inherently held by the Legislature, unless otherwise delegated.
- With regards to the Emergency Powers Act, the Legislature holds the power to terminate the Governor’s declaration of emergency by petition.
“Thursday’s hearing is not about undermining the validity of public health precautions; rather, it is about upholding the very fabric of our Louisiana Constitution,” says AG Landry. “Statute clearly outlines that the Governor cannot ignore or reject the checks and balances that underpin our government. If we allow this to happen once, when will it stop?”
It really shouldn’t be all that difficult a case for Morvant to decide. The law is pretty clear that either body of the Legislature can stop a declared emergency through a petition of the majority of its members, and that’s what the House did. Edwards’ mandates and restrictions would not be constitutional in any way, shape or form without the presence of exigent circumstances as marked by an emergency, and the way the statute in question is written to maintain that emergency he needs both houses of the Legislature on board. He no longer has that.
There shouldn’t be any constitutional questions surrounding this law.
And Edwards has wasted more than two weeks fighting this battle when what he could have done was to sign off on the petition and declare an end to his emergency, wait a week and then reinstitute another one. We shouldn’t be here. It’s ridiculous.
But owing to the fact John Bel Edwards is lobbying to get himself a job in the Biden administration as…something, he’s going to do everything he can to hew to Biden’s promises. One of those is a national economic lockdown so as to get COVID under control, and Edwards needs to make his bones on that score. So he’ll fight tooth and nail for every opportunity to lock Louisiana down, and that’s why this court case is happening when it shouldn’t.