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Another attempt to cut off Governor Edwards' COVID mandates Zoomed to defeat Thursday before 19th JDC Judge William Morvant. The Eastern and Western Federal District Courts and now the 19th JDC have rejected various challenges to the Governor's public health authority. The latest attempt by the legislature to force and end to executive orders restricting public activities in Louisiana was based on La. R.S. 29:768 which provides:
§768. Termination of declaration of public health emergency
A. The state of public health emergency shall continue until the governor finds that the threat of danger has passed or the disaster or emergency has been dealt with to the extent that the emergency conditions no longer exist and terminates the state of public health or emergency by executive order or proclamation, but no state of public health emergency may continue for longer than thirty days unless renewed by the governor.
B. The legislature, in consultation with the public health authority, by a petition signed by a majority of the surviving members of either house, may terminate a state of public health emergency at any time. This petition terminating the public health emergency may establish a period during which no other declaration of public health emergency may be issued. Thereupon, the governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of public health or emergency.
Acts 2003, No. 1206, §1.
Governor Edwards' brief addressing the issues before the court on his Petition for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief and the opposing Petition for Temporary Restraining and Preliminary Injunction filed by Clay Schexnayder in his capacity as the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives is posted below. Judge Morvant held the legislators' action to be unenforceable as the statute permitting action by a single chamber violates the state constitution. At the time this post was prepared, no written documentation of the court's action was available.
Posted: Nov. 12, 2020