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North Carolina Gov.-Elect Cooper Vows to Fight GOP 'Power Grab'

Image: North Carolina Gov.-Elect Cooper Vows to Fight GOP 'Power Grab'

North Carolina Gov.-Elect Roy Cooper (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 03:47 PM

Democratic North Carolina Gov.-elect Roy Cooper said Thursday he would sue the state’s legislature, which is led by Republicans, if they attempt to cut back his powers as governor.

"If I believe these measures are unconstitutional, they will see me in court and they don’t have a good track record there," Cooper said at a news conference, according to The Washington Post.

Republicans held a late session Wednesday night and introduced bills that would require the governor’s Cabinet appointments to be approved by the state Senate, cut the number of trustees he can appoint to the University of North Carolina school system, and cut the number of job positions that directly report to him, from 1,500 to 300.

"Most people might think this is a partisan power grab, but it’s really more ominous," Cooper said. He cannot veto the bills, because McCrory remains governor for a few more weeks, the Post reported.

The new governor won the election by over 10,000 votes, but the current governor, Republican Pat McCrory, claimed voter fraud and demanded a recount. McCrory conceded Dec. 5.

Cooper compared the Republicans’ bills to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the "bathroom law" that opponents said discriminated against transgender people.

"We don’t want another disaster like House Bill 2. This is exactly why we had problems with House Bill 2, because they wanted to do it in secret."

Republicans have said the measures restore balance in the state government, but it’s not clear if they were pursuing the measures when McCrory was in office, the Post reported.

The state's House Democratic leader Larry Hall, speaking to the Raleigh News and Observer, slammed the bills. "This ain’t right. You can’t make it right. The people of North Carolina aren’t being treated right. We owe them more," Hall said.

The Post reported that North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Jamal Little also blasted the Republicans' actions: "This is an unprecedented, shameful and cowardly power-grab from Republicans. After losing the Governor's office, the GOP-controlled General Assembly is attempting to hold on to the power that voters took away from them. Make no mistake, the legislation we are seeing today are attempts from Republicans to usurp power from Governor-elect Roy Cooper after losing the election. Republicans should be ashamed of these unprecedented power grabs that have no place in our democracy," Little said.

The state's legislature has a supermajority, however, which could keep Cooper in check. Partisan politics are likely to continue, University of North Carolina constitutional law professor Michael Gerhardt told the Post. "The concern for a lot of people is we have a legislature intent on keeping the score politically," Gerhardt said.

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Democratic North Carolina Gov.-elect Roy Cooper said Thursday he would sue the state’s legislature, which is led by Republicans, if they attempt to cut back his powers as governor.
roy cooper, north carolina, governor, fight, republicans
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2016-47-15
Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 03:47 PM
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