An executive order from Louisiana governor Democrat John Bel Edwards that would’ve protected LGBT people in state government from discrimination was thrown out by a Baton Rouge judge Wednesday on the grounds that the order was unconstitutional.
The AP reports that the order intended to prevent discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in state and government contracts, as well as issuing protections “against discrimination based on race, religion, disability and age.” But State District Judge Todd Hernandez essentially ruled that Edwards was trying to create a new law with his order and was therefore overstepping his bounds as governor.
Louisiana’s Republican attorney general Jeff Landry was responsible for filing the lawsuit against the executive order and was naturally quite pleased with the court’s ruling. In a statement, he accused Edwards of attempting to “replace the people’s will with his own,” while also saying that with this order, Edwards was trying to create “a new protected class of people that doesn’t exist in law.”
NOLA.com notes that Edwards’s order is unique in that it is one of the first to specifically prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals and that Landry felt so strongly about that portion of the order that he asked for that language specifically to be removed last week.
In a statement expressing his intent to appeal, Edwards said “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.”