Baton Rouge Standoff: Republican Attorney General Defies Democrat Governor And POTUS

Attorney General Jeff Landry out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has reportedly issued an opinion over the executive order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards, saying that it has no binding legal effect to expand federal law.

According to KNOE 8 News based out of Monroe which is 180-miles away from Baton Rouge, Landry is “continuing his effort to protect Louisiana’s students from federal overreach and ill-conceived policies contrived by the Obama administration,” regarding transgender students.

“The recent Obama directive regarding transgendered students puts the safety and security of all our children in jeopardy and will cost the State of Louisiana hundred of millions of dollars in compliance cost. Today’s action is in the best interests of our State and its people.”

At the end of the video provided above, Landry repeats similar statements that have come out of North Carolina’s governor Pat McCrory, when he too spoke on the issue of transgender bathrooms around the time that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued out guidance letters nationwide.

“The president is trying to define sex. That’s the difference, okay? He’s trying to create a class of his own.”

These statements were made during the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday where other issues were also discussed, such as sanctuary cities and the chance that his House Bill 105 — which is set to take power of the attorney general’s office budget away from the Governor — is a power grab.

Louisiana's Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry was a Congressman in 2011, Jeff Landry speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. [Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0]

According to Louisiana Record, there is no indication that this would give Landry more power, but the Governor has said that he would veto the bill when it gets to his desk.

“I have not in any way – ever – made any notion that I was trying to grab power. However that has been a common theme that the media seems to want to take.”

The House has already sent the bill to the Baton Rouge Senate for review.

The line has certainly been drawn between Republicans and Democrats when Louisiana’s citizens elected Governor John Bel Edwards as the first Democratic Governor since Kathleen Blanco 2001 – 2008 last year.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards speaks with reporters April 2016
Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters about the ongoing legislative session, Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. [Image by Melinda Deslatte | AP Photo]

The dividing line between them was clear from the day of Edwards’ inauguration when he was unable to convince the Republican-held house to accept a Democrat as House Speaker.

In April, the Governor signed an executive order to protect transgender people from discrimination and job refusal, which is the order the Attorney General referred to during his speech at the Baton Rouge Press Club.

Even more, according to sources such as The Associated Press via LA Times, the Governor also rescinded an order put in by former Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, which offered protection for those who were against same-sex marriage.

The Republicans out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have also added themselves to a lawsuit against the Federal government over the transgender bathroom issue, repeating similar statements with other Tea Party-Republican run governments such as the right to religious liberty, government overreach to “force” them to comply, and that it was never an issue until the Obama administration “made it” one.

The Republican politicians against the administration, along with those out of Baton Rouge, also claim that they are not discriminating against transgender people and are only protecting women and children from men who might pose as women to commit crimes.

SFGate also reported that during a House debate in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, Republican Representative Valarie Hodges “shelved” a bill under pressure from African-American Democrats that would require children from fourth to the sixth grade in public schools to recite a section of the Declaration of Independence.

The article says that “Reps. Barbara Norton, a Shreveport Democrat, and Pat Smith, a Baton Rouge Democrat, told Hodges that children shouldn’t have to recite words written at a time when slavery was prevalent, reading the document was used to bar African-Americans from voting at polling places and equality wasn’t extended to all people.”

[Image by Jeffrey Schwartz via Flickr | CC BY 2.0]