Grab the Popcorn: John Bel & Legislature Square Off Thursday
It's no secret that Governor John Bel Edwards and the Republican members of the Louisiana Legislature aren't the biggest fans of each other. Since John Bel took office, the two sides have fought tooth and nail over pretty much everything. From the budget to the state's response to COVID-19, both sides can't seem to agree on anything. Their heated rivalry has escalated so much that now a judge has to intervene.
Thursday morning, at 9:30 am, the Governor will be squaring off against the conservative legislature over the Governor's emergency powers and his coronavirus restrictions for the state. The House Republicans invoked a previously unused petition that allows lawmakers to nullify the Governor's public health emergency declaration and all the restrictions tied to it. The petition can't be vetoed by the Governor, but Edwards can challenge in court and get it thrown out. Which is exactly what he'll attempt to do Thursday morning.
House Speaker Clay Schexnayder said in a statement last week that "the Legislature will make no apologies for simply standing up for the people we collectively represent. The House has exhausted every available legislative remedy and has been left with no other option but to exercise its legislative right to terminate the governor’s emergency order.”
John Bel, on the other hand, called the move "unconscionable" and "reckless". “Burying heads in the sand and just pretending COVID isn’t a problem isn’t going to help. The virus doesn’t care that you’re tired of it,” said Edwards in response to the petition.
As this is a move that has never been attempted before, experts are unsure how the courts will rule on the matter. Either way, it should make for great television. Attorney General Jeff Landry, who has sided with House Republicans, publicly posted the Zoom link to the legal proceedings so the public can watch what happens at home. You can find the link to the legal proceedings here. Grab the popcorn because there's sure to be some fireworks before it's all said and done.