Blaize Cain.jpg

Blaize Cain

A Lafayette Parish man said this week it was his anonymous voice that was heard speaking out Thursday during a court hearing in Baton Rouge, handled on a Zoom call, over Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Blaize Cain, 25, of Scott, told the Acadiana Advocate he was frustrated with how 19th Judicial District Judge William Morvant was conducting the hearing that involved Attorney General Jeff Landry and 65 Republican lawmakers against Gov. John Bel Edwards over the governor’s coronavirus restrictions.

Morvant, a Republican, ruled in favor of the governor, leaving the state’s novel coronavirus restrictions in place, but it was not the result that Cain said angered him — he’d long been booted off the call when the judge made his decision — it was how the judge had handled the hearing.

“He had a horrible attitude,” Cain said of Morvant. “The judge was so rude to everybody. I got tired of it, man.”

Cain said he secured one of 300 places on the Zoom call because of his interest in COVID-19 restrictions, which he said has impaired business around the state and cost lots of people — his family and friends, included — their jobs.

“Whenever I saw the link to get on to the Zoom call I was curious to see how things would go down,” he said. But after a few minutes of the meeting, Cain, who works in the beleaguered energy industry, said he’d heard enough. He unmuted his phone and spoke out against Edwards’ position. If he was seeking instant attention, he got it.

“I don’t know who said that,” Morvant said from the courtroom, according to The Advocate’s coverage of the hearing. “And the next person who speaks without identifying, I will mute them and they will not participate in this hearing anymore.”

But, Cain said, he wasn’t finished, especially when Morvant made mention of “snide comments coming from the peanut gallery.”

“I guess I was sitting in the peanut gallery,” Cain said Monday.

The Advocate story quoted the anonymous voice as saying over the Zoom call, “Our state needs to be opened,” a comment Cain confirmed came from him. For his trouble, Morvant had Cain removed from the call.

Cain said he believed that by speaking out, he gave voice to people who did not have a chance to weigh in at the hearing. He said Edwards is “trying to micromanage at every level possible,” damaging the economy.

“He needs to put his faith in us as people,” Cain said. “He is still getting paid. I have family members who don’t have jobs.”

He said no one from the court has followed up with him since the hearing.

“I didn’t hear anything negative. I heard a lot of positive. People were saying, ‘Thank you for speaking up.’”

Through his office, Morvant said Monday he didn’t have time to talk about the incident.

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