Aside from the North Carolina General Assembly’s recent failed attempt to repeal the controversial anti-LGBT “bathroom bill,” politics in the “Tar Heel State” have proven combative in the recent gubernatorial election. Republican governor Pat McCrory, who finally conceded after four weeks to Democratic rival and state attorney general Roy Cooper, signed a series of last-minute measures that would effectively limit the latter’s powers. Cooper and his allies immediately protested the move, vowing to sue the state over the matter.
Sure enough, Cooper filed a lawsuit on Friday challenged the General Assembly’s new legislation, which would curb the governor-elect’s power to oversee the state elections board (among others). Cooper’s legal team asked the superior court judge overseeing the lawsuit to block the new law while the case was pending, and the judge agreed. The law was supposed to take effect on Sunday, but thanks to the lawsuit’s argument that its proposed changed were unconstitutional, that won’t happen for at least a week:
“The General Assembly passed a bill that, among other things, radically changes the structure and composition of the executive agency responsible for administrating our state’s election laws,” the lawsuit says. “Those changes are unconstitutional because they violate the separation of powers provisions enshrined in the North Carolina Constitution by shifting control over that agency away from the governor to the General Assembly.”
Whether or not Cooper’s legal attempts to circumnavigate — if not outright repeal — the new legislation will succeed remains to be seen. The attorney representing the state lawmakers targeted by the lawsuit, Noah Huffstetler, has already argued the superior court judge doesn’t have the authority to temporarily block the new laws.
(Via News & Observer)