Louisiana Senate Passes Bill Declaring Global Entities Like WHO Will Have No Authority in Their State

Louisiana Senate Passes Bill Declaring Global Entities Like WHO Will Have No Authority in Their State
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 15: A man enters the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 15, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization has been at times seen itself under an uncomfortable political spotlight during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Patricia Tolson
4/2/2024
Updated:
4/9/2024
0:00

Louisiana state senators have unanimously passed a bill that would block international organizations like the World Health Organization from having any power in the state.

The Louisiana Senate passed Senate Bill 133 on March 26 by a vote of 37-0. The measure would prohibit the global entities of the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) from having any power in the Bayou State.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Thomas Pressly and two cosponsors, Sen. Valerie Hodges and Rep. Kathy Edmonston, on Feb. 29.

The bill also prohibits state and local offices from enforcing any of the rules, regulations, or mandates issued by these organizations.

“No rule, regulation, fee, tax, policy, or mandate of any kind of the World Health Organization, United Nations, and the World Economic Forum shall be enforced or implemented by the state of Louisiana or any agency, department, board, commission, political subdivision, governmental entity of the state, parish, municipality, or any other political entity.”

WHO Pandemic Accord

The timing of the legislation coincides with a push from the White House to tie the United States to a global pandemic plan.

A joint statement issued by the Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services on March 29 made it very clear that pandemic preparedness has been “a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration” from day one and that they are committed to wrapping up a global WHO pandemic agreement and to accordingly revise International Health Regulations by the proposed May 2024 deadline.

The United States is a party to the International Health Regulations (IHR), a legally binding agreement among all 196 members of the WHO, including the 194 member states of the WHO Pandemic Accord. The IHR requires these countries to “conduct surveillance for potential international health threats” and to report their findings to the WHO “in a timely manner,” as clarified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The latest draft of the WHO Pandemic Accord was issued on March 13.

While the draft does mention the sovereignty of states, the language appears to relegate state sovereignty to a secondary position behind “the importance of international, regional and cross-regional collaboration, coordination and global solidarity” in planning a response to the next pandemic.

In a joint letter dated March 20, more than 100 global leaders urged the 194 WHO member states to “step up their efforts” to finalize an effective draft of a pandemic response agreement before the WHO’s 77th World Health Assembly, which will run from May 27 to June 1.  The letter also attempted to dispel rumors that the WHO’s Pandemic Accord would trespass upon the national sovereignty of participating countries.

However, the WHO also declared in March 2023 that “Member States will decide the terms of the accord, including whether any of its provisions will be legally binding on Member States as a matter of international law.”

While some might argue that Louisiana would be obligated to enforce any provisions deemed by member states to be legally binding as a matter of international law, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled through five landmark cases that the federal government has no authority to commandeer state and local resources for its own purposes.

Under the anti-commandeering doctrine, established by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, states are sovereign entities, which cannot be forced to use their resources as directed by the federal government. If state sovereignty is immune to control by the federal government, then it is not subject to efforts by international organizations to commander their resources either. Even if the U.S. government obligates itself to mandates established in some agreement, such as the WHO Pandemic Accord, it cannot force state and local governments to do the same.

‘More Fearful of Our Federal Government’

Steven Groves, an expert on international law at the Heritage Foundation, said that President Joe Biden plans to ratify international agreements on human rights, the environment, arms control, and the Law of the Sea. He advises that Congress should pay close attention to these initiatives to ensure American interests and sovereignty aren’t compromised.

As the Margaret Thatcher Fellow in Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, Mr. Groves has testified before Congress on international law and human rights and has warned that some treaties the Biden administration is pursuing could bind the United States to rules set by transnational, global institutions.

“The U.S. Congress must fulfill its constitutional role by scrutinizing such treaties and rejecting any that undermine the interests and national sovereignty of the American people,” he wrote in a January 2021 brief for The Heritage Foundation.

He also advocates for the sovereignty of individual states.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Mr. Groves said the Louisiana measure sends a clear message that state lawmakers will not tolerate efforts by foreign entities to undermine its sovereignty.

“Even if this Louisiana legislation is essentially a messaging document, it’s still important because it’s signaling that Louisiana is tracking very closely what the federal government is committing to and it’s signaling, ‘Don’t come down to Louisiana with mandates that have been developed in an international forum and expect us to salute and comply,’” he said.

In reviewing SB 133, Mr. Groves said there’s nothing in the legislation that says Louisiana is not going to cooperate with health officials who offer assistance.

As for the WHO Pandemic Accord, he said it “isn’t something the United States should support.”

“The current treaty has a lot to do with making wealthy countries share their technology, vaccines, and intellectual property with vaccine development with poor countries,” he explained. “That’s our main problem with the current draft. It doesn’t do much to prevent future pandemics. It’s geared toward reacting to the next pandemic by sharing intellectual property and vaccines, which is a problem. That’s what the poor, developing world wants but that’s a problem for countries like the U.S. and countries in Western Europe that are going to be developing these vaccines at great expense.”

“I would be more fearful of our federal government trying to impose mandates than the WHO or WEF,” he said.

‘We’re a Sovereign State’

Ms. Edmonston, one of Republican sponsors of Louisiana Senate bill, believes, “The globalists just want to take over.”

“We’re a sovereign state and we want to make sure that’s known in this legislation,” she told The Epoch Times. “Now it’s in the House and it will go before the committee, and I think it will pass for sure. If we pass it in the House, which I’m sure we will pass. Our governor, Jeff Landry, is a very conservative governor doing an amazing job. He'll sign it into law.”

This is not her first effort to protect the citizens of Louisiana. She introduced similar legislation in the Louisiana State House during the 2023 session.

Inspired by the mask, vaccine, and quarantine mandates imposed on the entire country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Edmonston’s House Bill 372 sought to block the CDC and WHO from having any authority in her state.
The measure died in committee.

She cited the damage done by the CDC’s mandates, which were adopted and imposed upon Louisiana residents by the Louisiana Department of Health.

“Our businesses were shut down. Our schools were shut down. It was awful,” she recalled.

However, the ruling by a federal judge in Florida in April 2022 made it clear that the CDC does not have the authority to create law by saying the agency exceeded its statutory authority when it issued the mask mandate for travel.

Mr. Pressly’s new legislation moves past the CDC and specifically targets global entities that try to impose rules and regulations on the citizens of Louisiana.

“It was brilliant,” Ms. Edmonston told The Epoch Times, celebrating how the measure moved effortlessly through the Senate committee and went directly to the Senate Floor. “He took out the CDC and put in the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and the World Health Organization. It got through the Senate Committee and then passed the Senate unanimously.

“That was a miracle. A major miracle,” she said. “He didn’t even get any flack. I don’t think he even got a question. He just got on the Senate floor and said we don’t want any foreign entities telling us in Louisiana what to do.”

Ms. Edmonston believes other states are watching.

“We’re excited. We hope this influences other states,” she said.

‘A Wakeup Call’

Ms. Hodges, the other sponsor of Mr. Pressly’s bill, told The Epoch Times she has been fighting to protect Louisiana’s sovereignty since 2020.

“We had many attempts under [Democrat governor] John Bell Edwards trying to secure our state sovereignty telling the WHO, the UN, and the WEF that this wasn’t their job,” she said. “We fought a tough battle here in Louisiana.”

“When these global groups make their recommendations it’s outside of the authority they’ve been given,” she explained. “So, we want to put something in statute that says they do not have the right to mandate healthcare in our state. That was the purpose of the bill.”

Ms. Hodges is adamantly opposed to America’s participation in the WHO’s Pandemic Accord, fearing that America’s participation in the agreement will essentially sign over our nation’s sovereignty to these global groups.

“This is America,” she said. “We’re not living under a dictatorship and that’s pretty much what these groups want. They want to dictate American policies. So, what we’re doing is we’re putting safeguards in place to keep the people of Louisiana safe.”

Like Ms. Edmonston, Ms. Hodges also believes other states are paying attention.

Should the measure be signed into law, it would become effective on Aug. 1.

Patricia Tolson, an award-winning national investigative reporter with 20 years of experience, has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo!, U.S. News, and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigative coverage of human interest stories, election policies, education, school boards, and parental rights has achieved international exposure. Send her your story ideas: [email protected]
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