• 73°

Louisiana Department of Justice earns success at U.S. Supreme Court

BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office had a successful term at the United States Supreme Court – not only winning the case it argued, but also notching numerous victories through supportive legal briefs. In the October 2020 Term, Attorney General Landry involved Louisiana in 18 matters that went before the Supreme Court’s Justices and was triumphant in 13 of them.

In addition to Edwards v. Vannoy – the major case in which the Supreme Court reaffirmed long-final convictions involving rape, murder, child molestation, and other violent crimes – Attorney General Landry’s Office led and joined amicus briefs in legal matters dealing with free speech, public safety, consumer protection, election integrity, economic fairness, and religious liberty.

In Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., the Supreme Court – by an 8-1 vote – upheld Louisiana’s position that the First Amendment bars a public high school from taking disciplinary action against a student for off-campus speech that are neither threatening nor harassing. The Justices once again supported Attorney General Landry’s belief that students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression, even at school.

In Alaska v. Sean Wright, Attorney General Landry led a bipartisan coalition of 20 states arguing that offenders who have finished serving their state court sentences lack standing to bring federal habeas claims regardless of any collateral consequences of the convictions, such as sex offender registry requirements. The Court agreed that a criminal who already served his time for sexual abuse of a minor cannot challenge those convictions while facing a new charge for failure to register as a sex offender.

In Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, Attorney General Landry joined a legal brief arguing that states must regulate pharmacy benefit managers in order to protect the well-being of consumers. Since PBMs act as gatekeepers between pharmacies, drug manufactures, health insurance plans, and consumers for access to prescription drugs – regulation of them allows the states to improve the transparency of prescription drug marketplaces and protect consumer access to affordable prescription drugs, especially in rural and isolated communities. After the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision, Attorney General Landry pledged to continue fighting for lower drug costs for Louisiana’s patients and keep working to protect our State’s businesses and consumers unfair trade practices.

More victories include the 6-3 decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee that reaffirmed the ability of states to administer secure elections with outcomes every voter can trust, the 6-3 decision in HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, LLC v. Renewable Fuels Association that restored small refiners’ exemptions from federal renewable fuel blending requirements, and the 6-3 decision in Fulton v. Philadelphia that ruled government cannot discriminate against faith-based adoption agencies.

The other wins were achieved in Dunn v. Reeves, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, Guam v. United States, Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court, Trump v. New York, and Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta.

In response to these accomplishments, Attorney General Landry issued the following statement: “When I ran for office, I pledged to devote attorneys to the cause of states’ rights; and with the Legislature’s support, we created the Federalism Division in my office and I appointed Liz Murrill as Solicitor General. Since then, and at every level of the judicial system, Liz and her team have done a tremendous job for our State and the people we serve. From fighting for public safety to defending religious liberty to protecting consumers and patients, we have upheld the rule of law this Supreme Court Term and I look forward to the successes we will achieve in the next.”