Judge Todd Hernandez, a Republican, ruled Wednesday that Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ anti-discrimination order is unconstitutional. The order prohibited discrimination in government and state contracts based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Hernandez ruled that Edwards’ order attempts to create new law, which is a power given only to the legislative branch. To read the judge’s ruling for yourself, scroll down.
The decision delivered a victory to anti-LGBT Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, who filed the lawsuit challenging the LGBT-rights order.
The governor said he will appeal.
“We are disappointed in the court’s ruling today. However, we fully intend to appeal this issue, which is how the parties knew that this matter would ultimately be resolved,” Edwards said. “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. We respect the trial court’s decision and will abide by it while we vigorously pursue an appeal.”
Landry who has has blocked dozens of legal services contracts that contain the anti-discrimination stated::
I applaud Judge Hernandez for basing his ruling on the law, not politics,” said General Landry. “My challenge has always been about upholding the checks and balances on executive authority as established in our State Constitution.”
“In the last eight years, outgoing President Barack Obama has used a phone and a pen to advance an unpopular agenda that he could not get Congress to support,” continued General Landry. “Repeatedly, courts have struck down his actions noting the President cannot simply sidestep the people’s elected Representatives in Congress. Now, John Bel Edwards is using the same Washington-style politics and games here in Louisiana.”
Edwards issued the order, which provided exemptions for religiously affiliated organizations, in April.
The Republican party of Louisianan endorsed Hernandez in his 2014 re-election bid and Hernandez describes himself as a family man, a volunteer youth coach, and is a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.