“I Bobby Jindal do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and the constitution and laws of this state,” Jindal said as State Supreme Court justice Catherine ‘Kitty’ Kimball administered the oath. (Hindustan Times, Jan. 10)
That is the oath of office Bobby Jindal took, as do all elected officials. But to Gov. Jindal, constitutionality — whether at the national or the state level — is a moveable feast.
In the most-recent example, the governor has vowed that Louisiana won’t set up the insurance exchanges required by the Affordable Care Act, preferring to wait until after the November election and a last-ditch effort to repeal ACA, which is never going to happen.
This means that the federal government will do it for us, because, as Greg Sargent put it in The Washington Post, “The Affordable Care Act requires states to have exchanges. A state has several options: It can build the exchange itself, or it can collaborate with the federal government to build it, or it can let the federal government run it. The state has to tell the feds what path it has decided to take by mid-November. If the state does not want to run its own exchange, or collaborate with the feds to run it, the feds will begin setting up the exchange themselves in January.”
Ah, another federal intrusion. In Bobby World, you see, it’s all about politics, not what might be in the best interests of the people of Louisiana.
On the other hand, when individuals or groups challenge the constitutionality of using public money to fund tuition at private schools, the governor brands them as obstructionists, standing in the way of reform and progress — or at least the governor’s vision of progress.
What are we to do? It’s probably too late to rein in Bobby Jindal, so perhaps all we can do is remind him of his oath of office. ACA is now the settled law of the land, governor, and it’s your job to implement it.