Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has just sued his own attorney general over LGBT anti-discrimination legislation.
When Edwards was elected last year, he issued an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, Louisiana’s Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry has been the face of the order’s opposition, arguing that Edwards is exceeding his legal authority in creating a new protected class of people.
A back-and-forth battle has been waging for the past four months, in which Edwards proposes contracts hiring lawyers, and Landry blocks them due to the contracts’ anti-discrimination clauses. He has blocked more than 40 such contracts so far, and the consequences are beginning to show. Matthew Block, general counsel for the Edwards administration said, “I have law firms not getting paid for the work that they are doing. I have law firms that are waiting around to start work.”
With neither side budging, Edwards has moved forward with suing Landry. The lawsuit charges Landry with refusing to “perform the ministerial task of approving private contracts and appointing private counsel for numerous executive agencies of the State.”
However, Landry has stood by his position, saying he looks forward to “defending the legislature and their priorities and their wishes.”