Governor Pat McCrory and two of his predecessors have filed suit against the General Assembly, arguing that their creation of various commissions usurps the authority of the governor’s office and violates the separation of powers clause in the North Carolina Constitution.
“These commissions make government less accountable to the will of the people. Citizens and voters must be able to distinguish which branch of government is responsible for making the laws and which branch is responsible for carrying out the laws and operating state government,” Governor McCrory said in a press release.
McCrory said recent examples of unaccountable commissions include the proposed Board of the Department of Medical Benefits, the proposed Social Services Commission and North Carolina’s Coal Ash Commission, which will hold its first meeting Friday.
The governor says while the case winds its way through the court system, the legal dispute will not hinder his ‘shared agenda’ with the General Assembly.
Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis responded by saying Governor McCrory’s arguments were flawed from both a legal and public policy perspective.
Here’s the joint statement released by the two legislative leaders:
“Today the governor sued to stop independent boards created in two bills – one he chose to sign and another he allowed to become law. He vetoed neither,” said Berger and Tillis. “The General Assembly’s right to appoint members to independent boards – which are beholden to no single appointing authority and provide truly independent oversight – is far from new and has long been upheld by our state Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the governor’s costly and time-consuming lawsuit to ensure he picks the majority of regulatory board members ignores history and detracts from their important work.”
You can read the 18-page complaint here.