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LSU hospital closure ruled unconstitutional

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 BATON ROUGE (KTBS)- A Baton Rouge judge says lawmakers didn't follow the Louisiana Constitution in authorizing Gov. Bobby Jindal to close the LSU-run public hospital in Pineville.

But the decision doesn't require the Jindal administration to slow plans to shutter the Huey P. Long Medical Center within a week.

Judge Robert Downing ruled Monday that the Senate violated the open meetings law when the legislation was heard by its health care committee. He granted a preliminary injunction request sought by two hospital closure opponents.

However, Downing also suspended that judgment -- effectively allowing the hospital closure plans to continue -- pending an appeal of his decision, which heads directly to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The Senate intends to appeal.

Downing, a retired judge, was presiding over the case for Judge Kay Bates.

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