Commentary

Editorial: Lawmakers’ latest power grab is “infantile,” “abuse of power,” “insult to the people they represent”

This morning’s lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer is a blistering takedown of the General Assembly’s latest outrageous assault on the basic structures of North Carolina government  (see Melissa Boughton’s post below). This is from “GOP tries to further limit Cooper with changes in judicial appointments”:

“If they could, Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly would likely take away Gov. Roy Cooper’s authority, period. All of it. No Cabinet. No staff. No car. No mansion.

And they’d chuckle about how they paid back Cooper, a former legislator himself, for the heinous sin of — winning the governor’s office over Republican incumbent Pat McCrory, a fellow they weren’t crazy about anyway. Cooper won that office by a slim margin, but he did win with the most votes from North Carolina citizens. He was their choice, whether Republicans like it or not.

But in their latest infantile gambit, Republicans seek to take away from Cooper his right to appoint judges. One will would reduce the size of the state Court of Appeals just as three Republicans are retiring from that 15-member court. Those three would be replaced by gubernatorial appointment, which likely would mean three Democrats.”

After exposing the embarrassingly juvenile justification advanced by the bills’ sponsor, Rep. Justin Burr, and highlighting expert testimony of a former appellate judge who debunked the proposals, the editorial closes with this damning assessment:

“The Republicans are making Cooper’s Cabinet appointees go through a confirmation process just to annoy Democrats, and they’ve already reduced Cooper’s available patronage appointments and made it clear they intend to ignore his budget and formulate one of their own more to the liking of the wealthy and big business.

So to say they’ve gone too far in reaching into the selection of judges would be stating the obvious. Their behavior is an insult to Cooper, to the people, to the state constitution. It reflects a certain brand of immaturity.

But this isn’t kickball on the playground, and Republicans don’t get to take their state and go home just because their candidate lost the election.

They are, in their own amateurish, immature way, rewriting the separation of powers to create an imbalance in favor of the General Assembly. It is an abuse of power and an insult to the people they represent.”

Check Also

BREAKING: New analysis shows GOP tax plan would be “devastating” to North Carolina nonprofits

This is usually the time of year during ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more