Gov. Roy Cooper’s Election Commission Suit Unanimously Dismissed

This article first appeared at American Lens News on June 5, 2017.

A three-judge panel unanimously dismissed Governor Roy Cooper’s lawsuit against the General Assembly over the creation of a Bipartisan Elections and Ethics Board.

Senator Leader Phil Berger along with Speaker of the House, Tim Moore, released a joint statement, on Twitter and Berger’s website which reads in part:

“Today the three-judge panel swiftly rejected Roy Cooper’s latest attempt to drag his political battles into the courtroom ”“ and instead delivered a victory to North Carolina voters, who should now expect their elections and ethics laws to be enforced fairly and with bipartisan cooperation. We encourage the governor to accept this result and abandon his taxpayer-funded pursuit of total control of the board responsible for regulating his own ethics and campaign finance conduct.”

Governor Cooper has yet to issue a response or statement.

Governor Cooper Launches Third Lawsuit

Roy Cooper Sues Again - Lawsuits - NCGA - Roy Cooper'sDespite claims Roy Cooper’s would ‘work across the aisle’ to get things done, he recently his 3rd suit against the General Assembly.

Late in May, Governor Cooper filed a suit against the legislature regarding the Appeals Court and Industrial Commission appointments.

Cooper filed the suit a little over a month after his veto of House Bill 239 was overridden and passed into law.

This new lawsuit names Phil Berger, leader of the state Senate, and Speaker of the House, Tim Moore.

Related: Cooper Rolls out DOT Nominations and Court Appointments

Roy Cooper’s main charge is that by reducing the number of members on the state Court of Appeals from 15 to 12,  that would change the length of a judge’s term and require a state constitutional amendment.

Cooper also contends that the executive branch, and not the General Assembly, should have appointment power over other boards and commissions.

The suit mentions the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Child Care Commission, the NC Parks and Recreation Authority, the Rural Infrastructure Authority, the State Building Commission, and the Private Protective Services Board.

Related: NC Governor Names Three Appointments to Utilities Commission

Related: Cooper Board of Education Picks Deserve Scrutiny

Cooper’s suit also claims that legislators violated the state Constitution’s separation-of-powers clause by giving his predecessor power to make 2 appointments to the state Industrial Commission before leaving office.

Pat McCrory appointed Yolanda Stith to a one-time-only 9-year-long appointment. Her position would revert back to the usual 6-year term. Stith was also the wife of McCrory’s chief-of-staff.

He also appointed Charlton Allen as chairman for a four-year term.  Cooper’s suit names both Stith and Allen as defendants.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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