AG Jeff Landry files brief on behalf of Firehouse BBQ

AG Jeff Landry files brief on behalf of Firehouse BBQ
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (Source: Office of Attorney General Jeff Landry)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Attorney General Jeff Landry has filed an opinion in support of a Livington Parish barbeque restaurant that is in the middle of a court battle with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

Landry announced Wednesday, Aug. 19 he filed an Amicus Curiae brief, or expert opinion, to the 21st Judicial District Court in support of Firehouse BBQ.

Firehouse BBQ reopened Monday, Aug. 3 in defiance of LDH revoking its food permit. A steady stream of mostly maskless customers came to support the restaurant, many of whom believe the mandates from Gov. John Bel Edwards are unconstitutional.
Firehouse BBQ reopened Monday, Aug. 3 in defiance of LDH revoking its food permit. A steady stream of mostly maskless customers came to support the restaurant, many of whom believe the mandates from Gov. John Bel Edwards are unconstitutional. (Source: WAFB)

The barbecue restaurant, located in Watson, is facing scrutiny for not following Governor John Bel Edwards’ statewide mask mandate.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office served a temporary restraining order to the restaurant Aug. 10 for not complying with the mandate.

On Aug. 13, a district judge signed a ruling prohibiting Governor John Bel Edwards and his state agencies from taking any further action against Firehouse BBQ until a hearing on the matter.

The hearing was originally scheduled to go before a judge on Aug. 18 but has been delayed until Sept. 1.

EXCLUSIVE: Owner of Firehouse BBQ speaks after being served temporary restraining order for defying mask mandate

In the petition, Landry claims LDH has no authority to close the restaurant because Gov. Edwards’ mask mandate is “legally flawed.”

Landry also claims LDH has not “coherently or consistently enforced any restrictions relative to public health ‘mandates’ since the pandemic began.”

“This case is not about whether masks or face coverings are a good idea. It is about what the Governor and the Department of Health (“LDH”) can do during an extended public health emergency and – importantly – how it can constitutionally do it. Although one other State court judge recently denied a temporary restraining order regarding 89 JBE 2020′s closing of “bars” (but not bars in restaurants), the trial court conducted no meaningful analysis of the statutory scheme. And while two federal cases are currently pending related to bar closures, the federal courts have no authority to enjoin the state to follow State law,” Landry said in the brief.

Click here to read the full Amicus Curiae brief filed by Landry.

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