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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jindal: watch me create law from thin air!

President George W. Bush (right) is greeted by...
President George W. Bush (right) is greeted by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (left) and his wife, Supriya Jolly Jindal (center), on his arrival to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Monday, April 21, 2008, where President Bush will attend the 2008 North American Leaders’ Summit. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, irked that, after five years of trying, he can't get his Death Star Antigay Bill passed, has issued an executive order telling agencies to pretend it's law.

Jindal might, in other circumstances, call this sort of action "executive overreach." He would know.

When the Department of Justice asked Louisiana for an analysis of the racial makeup of the state's private schools, Jindal declared, "The federal government's new request is a frightening overreach of the federal government and shows it knows no bounds."

Jindal knows overreach when he sees it: in a 2014 speech to the conservative Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit, he criticized President Obama on everything from education and foreign policy to what he called his administration's "silent war on our religious liberty."

It was a full-throated attack on what Jindal called federal overreach..." Last November, criticizing action by the president on immigration reform, Jindal said, "The President is lecturing us and not listening to us. He's bypassing Congress, and ignoring the American people...If the President wants to make the case that the law should be changed, he should go make the case to Congress and our people. This is an arrogant, cynical political move by the President.."

Jindal's own lieutenant governor has called the governor's war on Common Core standards in education (which Jindal supported before deciding he wants to be president, and now must jettison), an "executive overreach."

Jindal's order, issued just hours after the legislature handed his hat, expires shortly after the 2016 election in Louisiana. J. Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Center Bureau and a former chief of staff to Republican governor Mike Foster, issued a 932 word statement responding to Jindal's order, in part:

Since the resounding legislative defeat shortly after noon today, Governor Bobby Jindal, who formed a presidential exploratory committee this week and has positioned himself as a national leader on religious freedom matters, has announced plans to issue an Executive Order that would mirror some of the narrow intent of HB 707 as related to state actions. We perceive this as largely a political statement by our conservative governor in support of his national position on the issue. That is certainly his right. The issuance of this Executive Order will have very little practical impact, however, since under the Louisiana Constitution and statutes, and according to on-point court decisions as recently as December of 2014, no Executive Order of a governor may create substantive law, even in an emergency situation. Thus, any belief that the Executive Order could enact law similar to that proposed by Rep. Johnson is simply unfounded and would not survive a court test. Furthermore, there are no current cases of such discrimination pending in Louisiana, something of which the Louisiana business community may be proud.

Perry previously called the bill "toxic," adding, "The issue is so radioactive that most people will not look at the details." The chair of the committee that killed the bill politely described it as "just too problematic."

Anticipating corporate opposition in an April 23 New York Times op-ed, Jindal huffed:

As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your’s time for corporate America to make a decision. Those who believe in freedom must stick together: If it’s not freedom for all, it’s not freedom at all. This strategy requires populist social conservatives to ally with the business community on economic matters and corporate titans to side with social conservatives on cultural matters. This is the grand bargain that makes freedom’s defense possible.

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