One Step Back, One Step Forward For Jindal’s “Religious Liberty” Crusade

So the Republican-controlled Louisiana legislature, probably reluctant to paint a bullseye on their state’s tourism and convention industry, killed Bobby Jindal’s “religious liberty” bill yesterday (it was tabled on a 10-2 vote in the relevant committee). But that was probably okay with Bobby, who promptly issued an executive order (of dubious legal value) banning state government actions alleged to violate religious liberty.

He might as well have labeled this action the Bob Vander Plaats Executive Order, since it’s pretty clear it was aimed not at any terrified Louisianans, but at the Christian Right activists of Iowa, Jindal’s prime audience since he began his proto-presidential campaign last year.

If Louisiana’s lucky, Bobby’s executive order–partly because it’s probably unconstitutional, partly because it doesn’t even pretend to reach private transactions–won’t attract a boycott. But it’s all the more reason people in both parties are almost certainly counting the days until Jindal leaves office (at the end of this year), and can move to Iowa full-time.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.