Much awaits the Louisiana Legislature when the 2020 primary election cycle comes to an end. The political spotlight will most certainly shift, and lawmakers shouldn’t be surprised when it lands squarely on them, writes Jeremy Alford in his new opinion piece.
Gov. John Bel Edwards’ lawsuit against House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and the entire Legislature over the executive branch’s coronavirus restrictions tops the list of what’s next. A hearing before Judge William Morvant in the 19th Judicial District Court is set for Nov. 12.
The political stakes are high for this courtroom drama. A majority of House members have signed a legislative petition to temporarily pause the restrictions, and the governor is suing to halt that maneuver. Attorney General Jeff Landry, meanwhile, has waded into the lawsuit by filing a legal petition on behalf of Schexnayder asking the judge to remove Edwards’ coronavirus restrictions.
In related news, a group of House members learned last week that they were the targets of public records requests filed by the executive branch in relation to the lawsuit. The prevailing theory in the lower chamber is that Team Edwards is looking for communications that show lawmakers were somehow aware that their petition effort would eventually be found unconstitutional.
In his lawsuit the governor argues that the state law permitting House members to approve a petition to override his executive order is unconstitutional because only one chamber of the two-chamber Legislature needed to act. Read Alford’s full column here.