Court says Cooper cabinet hearing may continue

Judges reverse course, Cooper will wait until May 15 to submit nominees

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal

RALEIGH — The three-judge panel that previously ordered a halt to Senate confirmation hearings for Gov. Roy Cooper’s cabinet nominees has reversed course. Judge Jesse B. Caldwell III of Gaston County, writing for the panel that includes Todd Burke of Forsyth County and Jeff Foster of Beaufort County, found Tuesday that Cooper had not shown that he will be irreparably harmed by the hearings. In reversing its previous decision, the panel clarified that Cooper has until May 15 to submit his nominees. According to a statement issued by Cooper’s office, “the governor plans to wait for the full hearing on the constitutionality of this law to go forward on March 7th before submitting his nominees, which he believes will not be necessary.”In a joint statement, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said “It is incredibly encouraging that this court has shown judicial restraint and rejected Gov. Cooper’s extraordinary request to stop the people’s elected representatives from conducting a fair, open and transparent hearing process to determine whether his proposed cabinet secretaries are qualified, without conflicts of interest, and willing to follow the law.”