BATON ROUGE, LA – The First Circuit Court of Appeal today
affirmed District Court Judge Todd Hernandez’s ruling that Governor Edwards’
Executive Order No. JBE 16-11 exceeded his authority.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled current law does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity, therefore Governor Edwards’ executive order was an unconstitutional attempt to expand the law.
“We have stated all along that the Governor must follow the law, just like everybody else,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry. “This ruling affirms a notion of basic civics that the Legislature makes the law, not the Governor.”
“This dispute was always about separation of powers and executive overreach,” said Solicitor General Elizabeth Murrill. “The Governor tried to make it something else and, in doing so, deflected that basic issue. Our position has been consistent – expanding the law to create new protected classes requires legislative action.”
Furthermore, the First Circuit vacated the remainder of Judge Hernandez’s ruling with regards to the constitutional powers of the Governor and the Attorney General because, other than the issues raised by the executive order, no factual dispute existed and any further rulings would constitute an advisory opinion.
“We do not live under a King in Louisiana; we have a Governor, an independent Attorney General, an elected Legislature, and a Court system who are all involved in the governing of our State,” added General Landry. “I applaud the professionalism and attention of the Court of Appeal in these matters.”
A copy of the ruling may be found in the More Resources box.