The Republican supermajority in the Louisiana State Legislature introduced a bill this year banning gender transition care for minors, along with other legislation banning Covid vaccine requirements in schools and any classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation.

It was the kind of aggressive social policy agenda that was gaining traction in conservative states across the country. But unlike most such states, where Republican bills slide into law, lawmakers in Louisiana had to return to the Capitol this week, more than a month after the session ended, to try to pull the legislation back from the brink of failure.

The reason: John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South. He has used vetoes with some success as a bulwark against conservative legislation in a state where Republicans have had a lock on the legislature for more than a decade.

In Louisiana, governors have a history of successfully using vetoes; most years, lawmakers didn’t even bother trying to override them.

But this year, lawmakers decided to test that power, reconvening to consider overriding more than two dozen vetoes at a time when Republicans tightened their control of parliament and when Mr. Edwards, who is finishing his second term, is on his way.

“You voted for this before,” State Representative Raymond J. Crews, a Republican, told his colleagues Tuesday as he asked them to support an override of the veto of his bill, which would have required schools to refer to transgender students by the names and genders on their birth certificates. “I hope you do it again.”

Mr. Crews did not receive enough votes. In fact, when lawmakers adjourned late Tuesday, all but one of Mr. Edwards’ vetoes still stood. The single exception was the ban on transitional care for minors, a bill that Republicans have channeled most of their energy and resources into reviving.

The outcome of the session, which lawmakers raced through Tuesday, was one last demonstration of how Mr. Edwards, a two-term governor leaving office next year, has managed to control the influence of Republican lawmakers — to a degree.

“It’s kind of hard to be too disappointed — we actually overrode the veto on a very important bill,” said State Representative Alan Seabaugh, a Republican who led a caucus of some of the most conservative lawmakers.

However, he acknowledged, Mr Edwards presented a formidable obstacle. “It really shows what influence a liberal Democratic governor has over Republican lawmakers,” Mr. Seabaugh said.

Although many in the governor’s own party would dispute the portrayal of Mr. Edwards — an anti-abortion, pro-gun rights moderate — as a liberal, there was still widespread agreement that his departure in January could bring about a significant shift in the state’s political dynamics.

Many recognize a strong possibility of a Republican succeeding Mr. Edwards, setting the stage for Louisiana to veer even further to the right, after several decades of the governorship flipping back and forth between the two parties.

The state has an all-party “jungle primary” in October. Polls show Jeff Landry, the state’s deeply conservative attorney general, as the front-runner, along with Shawn Wilson, a Democrat and former secretary of transportation and development.

In a state where former President Donald J. Trump won by 20-point margins in 2016 and 2020, Mr. Edwards’ political survival has depended on the appeal of his biography — he is a West Point graduate and the son of a sheriff — and on his mix of social conservatism and progressive achievements, including Medicaid expansion, that fit Louisiana’s unique political landscape.

He has angered many in his own party with his vehement opposition to abortion rights and his reticence in criticizing Mr. Trump, who as president went to great lengths to campaign against Mr. Edwards’ re-election.

Still, even Democrats who criticize Mr. Edwards saw him as a vital barrier against conservative policies that were making easy headway in neighboring states.

“I do think there’s always room to be a more vocal ally and a more faithful ally to our community,” said Gov. Quest Riggs, who helped found the Real Name Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group in New Orleans. “But on the other hand, his vetoes were a political tool that was necessary to offset the mobilization of the evangelical right in Louisiana.”

Last year, lawmakers managed to override a governor’s veto for the first time in three decades, reinstating a Congressional map that Mr. Edwards opposed because it included only one district with a majority of Black voters despite the fact that one-third of the state’s population is Black. Last month, the US Supreme Court cleared the way for a legal challenge to the map to move forward.

Also last year, Mr. Edwards allowed a bill that would have excluded transgender females from school sports to become law without his signatureto predict that a veto would be removed.

Mr. Edwards said this week that he had issued 319 vetoes in his eight years as governor, and that 317 of them had been upheld. “Usually, we were able to find common ground to move Louisiana forward,” he said.

On Tuesday, lawmakers passed the vetoed bills, including measures that would have denied parole for dangerous offenders and prevented “foreign adversaries” from owning agricultural land.

Overriding a veto requires a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers, and Republicans hold a supermajority by only a thin margin. Two Republican state representatives were absent Tuesday, and some in the House and Senate crossed party lines to oppose some overrides, angering their more conservative colleagues.

When the ban on gender transition care emerged, lawmakers described conflicting perceptions of what it meant to protect children. Supporters of the bill said it would protect young people from treatments they claim are dangerous and untested, even though there is broad agreement among major medical associations in the United States that such care can be beneficial for many patients.

Critics of the ban argue that it would endanger a small, vulnerable population of young people by denying them medically necessary care. Most of the 20 other states that have passed similar legislation are facing lawsuits, and judges have already temporarily blocked some of the bans.

In the House, the vote to override the veto passed 76 to 23, with seven Democrats joining the Republicans. In the Senate, it passed 28 to 11. Republicans captured the only successful dominance as a victory.

“We have sent a clear signal,” said Mr. Landry, the attorney general and candidate for governor, in a video posted online, “that woke liberal agendas that are destructive to children will not be tolerated in Louisiana.”

Lawmakers and observers have pondered how the political climate would be different during next year’s legislative session, especially if Republicans retain their supermajority and win the governor’s race.

“What happens when they don’t have to hold back anymore?” said Robert E. Hogan, a political science professor at Louisiana State University, referring to Republican lawmakers if Democrats lose the governor’s race. “You will have a governor who is powerful and on your side.”

That prospect inspired fear among some, especially within the LGBTQ community, but raised ambitions among conservatives.

Mr. Seabaugh, who is leaving the House because of term limits but is running for a Senate seat, is expected to pass some of the same bills next year without the threat of a veto and reverse Mr. Edwards’ agenda. “I don’t think we can do it all in one year,” Mr. Seabaugh said, “but I’ll certainly try.”

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