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Confirmations in limbo as NCGA leaders criticize judges, restraining order

It isn’t clear whether a hearing to confirm former state Rep.Larry Hall (D-Durham) as head of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs will proceed as scheduled at 11 a.m. today or wait until Friday, per a court order.

A panel of three N.C. Superior Court judges appear to have issued a temporary restraining order preventing a Senate committee from holding a hearing on Hall Wednesday. While a written version of that order isn’t yet publicly available, leaders of the issued a scathing statement Tuesday night in reaction to the judges’ ruling.

“In a gross misreading of the Constitution and a blatant overstep of their constitutional authority, three Superior Court judges attempted to dictate to the legislature when it could or could not hold committee meetings and what it could or could not consider in those meetings,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) in the statement.

“This unprecedented move would be like the legislature telling a judge what jurors to pick to decide a case. Judges are not legislators, and if these three men want to make laws, they should hang up their robes and run for a legislative seat,” the statement said. “Their decision to legislate from the bench will have profound consequences, and they should immediately reconvene their panel and reverse their order.”

The Senate briefly convened at 9 a.m. Wednesday before adjourning again until Thursday.

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In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.