In a press release late Monday Gov. Pat McCrory said he would sign N.C. House Bill 17 – the bill that strips incoming governor Roy Cooper of a number of powers and appointments McCrory enjoyed while in office.
But one of the stand-out statements in the release had nothing to do with HB17. In listing a number of ways he was working behind-the-scenes to protect the separation of powers during last week’s two special sessions of the North Carolina General Assembly, McCrory wrote:
“I also successfully worked to deter any efforts to expand the composition of our Supreme Court.”
For weeks leading up to the special session, there were rumors the Republican majority would try to expand the N.C. Supreme Court and have McCrory appoint conservative judges to avoid the Democratic majority that was the result of November’s election.
But legislative leaders and the executive director of the N.C. Republican Party last week decried the rumors as baseless gossip begun by liberal groups and perpetuated by a left-leaning media.
Now, it seems, McCrory is taking credit for helping to beat back a scheme some in his party claim never existed.
As has been widely reported, the rumored court packing scheme was actually first floated among conservative policy groups and media back in November and remained popular in some conservative circles up until last week.