|Jeffrey Martin "Jeff" Landry|
Attorney General of Louisiana
|Assumed office |
January 11, 2016
|Preceded by||James David "Buddy" Caldwell, Sr.|
U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 3rd congressional district
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Charlie Melancon|
|Succeeded by||Charles Boustany|
|Born|| December 23, 1970|
|Spouse(s)|| Sharon LeBlanc Landry|
One son, J. T. Landry
Jeffrey Martin Landry, known as Jeff Landry (born December 23, 1970), is the attorney general of his native U.S. state of Louisiana. He is a leader in standing against the "mask police" during the coronavirus pandemic, when he issued an executive order cautioning businesses and police against violating constitutional rights by enforcing the Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards' executor order commanding people to wear masks.
Landry holds a Juris Doctorate from the Roman Catholic Loyola University in New Orleans and was a small business owner. Prior to his election to Congress, he was a former state Senate aide, a sheriff's deputy in St. Martin Parish, and a police officer in the Village of Parks. Landry is married to the former Sharon LeBlanc and has one son, J. T. Landry. In February 2018, he broke six ribs in a snowboarding accident caused by whiteout conditions while on a family vacation in Montana. He worked from his home in Broussard in Lafayette Parish during his recovery.
As U.S. Representative
Landry is a former one-term Republican in the 112th Congress for Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. He succeeded Democrat Charlie Melancon, who stepped down to run unsuccessfully for the United States Senate against Republican David Vitter. Landry served with honor as an Operation Desert Storm veteran. he attained the rank of sergeant. He received the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, a National Defense Ribbon, an Overseas Training Ribbon, and the Louisiana War Cross from his eleven years of service as a member of the Louisiana National Guard.
Landry lost his U.S. House seat in 2012 through reapportionment. He was pitted against fellow Republican Representative Charles Boustany, a retired physician from Lafayette, whose wife is a niece of Democratic former Governor Edwin Edwards. Boustany relinquished the seat in January 2017 after a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2016 against the eventual winner, Republican John Neely Kennedy, who filled the seat that Vitter vacated to return to private life.
As attorney general
Landry scored a comeback to win the office of attorney general in the general election held on November 21, 2015, in which he, a lifelong Republican, unseated the incumbent James David "Buddy" Caldwell, Sr., a Democrat-turned-Republican who reverted to the Democrats in 2019 to contest the office of Madison Parish sheriff. Since his election as attorney general, Landry has been in frequent legal disputes with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards (no relation to Edwin Edwards). Early in 2018, Landry announced that an agreement had been reached with the governor's office about control of Louisiana's lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.
On March 27, 2018, Landry cited the lack of evidence that could be brought to a grand jury in the case of two white Baton Rouge police officers involved in the fatal shooting in July 2016 of the African-American Alton Sterling. Landry noted that federal authorities had declined to bring charges, and East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore had recused himself because of a personal tie to the family of one of the officers. The officers claim they gave Sterling verbal warnings and an opportunity to surrender upon arrest but fired when they believed Sterling was reaching for a gun in his possession. Sterling's death led to riots in Baton Rouge. Still pending is a civil suit filed on behalf of the five Sterling children against the officers and the city-parish of Baton Rouge. The suit accuses the police department of lax training and poor procedures whicn contributed to Sterling's death. In addition, the two officers still face in-house discipline by the police department, and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, an African-American, has called for their termination.
Landry is a firm advocate of student-led prayer in public education and appeared on April 8, 2018, at meetings in Minden and Bossier City with U.S. Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana's 4th congressional district. At the gatherings, the two Republicans explained how the U.S. Constitution protects religious freedom. Johnson and Landry said that many teachers and administrators misconstrue the First Amendment rights of students and are often intimidated by atheist organizations that oppose prayer. Bossier Parish has been sued for allowing some educators to introduce religious themes into their lessons.
In April 2018, Landry announced that he will lead a major fund-raising effort on behalf of conservative candidates running in 2019 for the Louisiana State Senate. Headed by John Alario, a Moderate Republican from Jefferson Parish in suburban New Orleans, formerly allied with Governor Edwin Edwards, the Senate has a Republican majority, but many Democratic initiatives win approval in the chamber, and conservative measures are often killed in committee. Landry said that too many of the current senators are "Republican In Name Only" or RINOs. He also noted a high rate of turnover is certain in the Senate because of term limits.
Landry has guest hosted The Moon Griffon Show via a radio hookup from Lafayette. On his program on March 26, 2018, Griffon noted that Landry has taken Edwards to court six times and prevailed each time.
In May 2018, Landry joined the attorneys general of six other states, Alabama, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia, in a lawsuit which seeks to overturn permanently the DACA or "dreamers" immigration policy, which was launched by executive order of then President Barack H. Obama. The program protects from deportation young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Landry said that "the Obama administration pushed through DACA to fit their political narrative, and this lawsuit seeks to undo that unlawful action. We are a nation of laws, not of men, and we must act in a way that respects the process of legal citizenship," Landry said. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has been blocked by federal courts from ending the policy.
Landry has quarreled on several occasions with Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who won a 51-49 percent victory for reelection in 2019, over the Republican Eddie Rispone. Landry has been mentioned as a potential challenger to the governor. Landry announced that he will no longer defend the lawsuit challenging lethal injection protocols in the state. Executions have been put on hold since 2010 because of the lack of availability of lethal injection drugs. Landry claims that Edwards himself is a greater obstacle to implementing court-ordered executions than is the drug shortage. Edwards in reply accused Landry of "political grandstanding" and abdicating his legal duties. In July 2018, a federal judge approved a one-year extension to an order which prohibits Louisiana from carrying out executions. The extension was sought by a corrections department attorney.
In a 2018 dispute over gun control, Landry denied $600 million in state funds to Citibank and the Bank of America. The two companies were scheduled to participate in a road-financing plan, but both were yanked from the plan after each placed new gun control restrictions on their customers. Landry and State Treasurer John Schroder have been working on the state's response to corporate gun control. Omitting the two banks m from the $600 million is part of that response. On March 23, 2018, Breitbart News reported that Citibank's new gun control regulations require customers to cease selling “high capacity” magazines. Citibank demanded bank store customers refuse long gun sales to anyone between the ages of eighteen and twenty even though such sales are legal. Moreover, it is noted that 18-20-year-olds can use fully automatic weapons while serving in the military. Earlier in the year Bank of America announced that it would not accept customers “who make military-style firearms for civilians”. The financial institution does consider that military rifles are fully automatic, but civilian firearms are semiautomatic.
In September 2018, Landry said Governor John Bel Edwards' refusal to appoint Carolyn Prator, wife of popular Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, who was reelected to a sixth term in 2019, to the Red River Waterways Commission is illegal because state law requires that the appointment must come from the nominating agencies' choice or choices. "Nothing authorizes the governor to ignore the nomination," Landry said. Instead Edwards chose a nominee from Rapides Parish. Any legal business that the board does is therefore questionable, Landry said. Governor Edwards, however, disputes Landry's opinion and claimed that the attorney general engaged in "a cheap political stunt." Thereafter, Landry filed a lawsuit to unseat two of Edwards' appointments to the commission, nominations that Landry considers illegal.
Landry won his second term as attorney general with ease in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 12, 2019. With 855,338 votes (66 percent), he topped the Democrat "Ike" Jackson, Jr., wo finished with 436,531 (34 percent).
Opposing abortion before the U.S. Supreme Court
In February 2020, a Baton Rouge Advocate investigative piece claimed that Landry and his brother had engaged in questionable hiring practices at the Cameron LNG facility in Hackberry in Cameron Parish in far southwestern Louisiana. The Louisiana Family Forum speculated that the timing of the article came to discredit Landry, as he goes before the United States Supreme Court to argue in favor of the state statute that requires doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. This case, June Medical Services v. Gee,(the defendant is former state health director Rebekah Gee, who is an abortion supporter), is seen as a harbinger of where the court could head on future challenges to Roe v. Wade.
- Jeff Landry recovering from broken ribs after snowboarding accident. The Shreveort Times (February 20, 2018). Retrieved on February 21, 2018.
- M. L. Nestel. Police won't face charges in Alton Sterling shooting case. ABC News. Retrieved on March 27, 2018.
- Robert J. Wright. Mike Johnson, Jeff Landry on First Amendment and Prayer in Schools. KEEL Radio. Retrieved on April 9, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (April 27, 2018). See how Jeff Landry plans to transform the Louisiana Senate. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved on April 28, 2018.
- The Moon Griffon Show, March 26, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (May 2, 2018). AG Jeff Landry: "Dreamers' violate the Constitution. The Monroe News-Star.
- "LA governor, attorney general at odds over halt to executions". WAFB-TV (July 18, 2018). Retrieved on July 19, 2018.
- A. W. R. Hawkins (August 16, 2018). Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and the state’s Bond Commission denied $600 million to Citibank and Bank of America over the gun control stance adopted by both companies. Breitbart.com. Retrieved on August 19, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (September 19, 2018). AG: Governor's Red River appointment illegal. Monroe News Star. Retrieved on September 21, 2018.
- Gov. Edwards: AG Landry guilty of "cheap political stunt" (video). KEEL Radio (September 20, 2018). Retrieved on September 21, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (September 25, 2018). Landry sues to unseat Gov. Edwards' board appointments: Governor's spokesman accuses attorney general of conducting 'political stunt'. The Shreveport Times.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 12, 2019.
- "Family Facts: AG Landry in the News, Biology Isn't Bending," Louisiana Family Forum, February 18, 2020.