Louisiana House Invokes Rule To Suspend The State’s COVID Laws
The long rumored "Legislative Petition" response to Governor John Bel Edwards COVID restrictions has finally arrived, according to Louisiana House leadership.
This procedural move would suspend the Governor's emergency declarations, and allow the state House to set a time limit before new restrictions can be put back into place. The petition is not a bill, therefore it cannot be vetoed by the Governor.
Louisiana House Republican leader Blake Miquez told the USA Today Network that the petition now has the support of House Speakers Clay Schexnayder, Speaker Pro-tem Tanner Magee, and himself. The house only needs a simple majority of signatures of their chamber to push the measure forward, and Republicans currently hold an almost super-majority in the House with 68 seats.
This afternoon, Governor John Bel Edwards shot back at the move, calling it "reckless, and irresponsible, and unconscionable". He also indicated that he will immediately challenge the petition in court. But that might not go his way.
House Republican leader Miquez told The Advocate that Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has informed the Louisiana House Republican delegation that this petition is legal, and will be able to stand in court. Louisiana law paves the way for the maneuver, and lays out exactly how to execute this type of petition.
If the Legislative Petition is held up in court, it would suspend all of the state's COVID rules and restrictions. At this time, there is no guarantee that a court will allow the petition to stand, strike it down, or suspend the state's COVID restrictions until a judgement is made.