Courts & the Law

In power struggle with legislature, Cooper prevails in two of three legal challenges

A three-judge panel issued its rulings Friday on two laws passed last December in special session that limited  the powers of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.

The panel found that the General Assembly does have the authority to establish a confirmation process for the governor’s cabinet picks.

But the judges ruled that it was unconstitutional for state lawmakers to pass legislation combining the State Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission.

The ruling also blocks the Republican-controlled legislature from trimming exempt positions from 1,500 jobs (under the McCrory administration) to just 425 positions for Cooper.

Noelle Talley, Deputy Communications Director for Gov. Cooper, praised two of the decisions and predicted the third would eventually fall in their favor.

“We’re pleased the trial court ruled two of these three laws unconstitutional, and we believe strongly that the Supreme Court ultimately will agree with us on all three.”

Read the 43-page order here.

Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger’s office issued the following reaction to the court order on Twitter:

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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.