Judge Issues Restraining Order After Cooper Files Legal Action

RALEIGH, NC — “It’s a temporary win for Cooper; no doubt about that,” said UNC Charlotte Political Professor Eric Heberlig.

A win out of several UNC Charlotte professor Eric Heberlig says Governor Elect Roy Cooper will fight for. This after the General Assembly passed several new bills in a last-minute special session two weeks ago to take power away from Cooper. Friday, Cooper filed legal action to stop the law merging the Board of Elections and Ethics Commission, which takes away some of his appointees. A North Carolina Supreme Court judge issued a temporary restraining order on the GOP’s law which would have taken effect Sunday.

“That means the merger of the two departments, which they’ve had all of two weeks to do, is on hold,” said Heberlig.

Heberlig says many times the courts side with the legislature who has governing power over the executive branch, but considering all the recent moves to take more power, the court could rule on the bigger issue.

“Rather than looking specifically at should the legislature have the authority to change the appointment structure of the Board of Elections alone, they’ll look at it in the context of, ‘Well, they changed all these other things,'” said Heberlig.

Another bill passed in special session gives the legislature power to approve Cooper’s cabinet appointees. Heberlig says the court will decide if the shifts in power are warranted or just party politics.

“Whether they see a pattern here of legislative encroachment on executive powers and nullifies all or most of them,” said Heberlig.