Cooper has another setback in fight with lawmakers

Judge panel reject governors request to stay creation of elections and ethics board.

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
Governor Roy Cooper addresses the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners during their County Assembly Day on Wednesday

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper was dealt another setback Thursday in his ongoing power struggle with the N.C. legislature.On Thursday, a three-judge Superior Court panel denied Cooper’s request to stay creation of a state elections and ethics enforcement board. Cooper sued the legislature for a second time over the issue. Earlier in June the panel dismissed his suit and he asked for a stay while he appealed. Cooper argued that because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the state district maps the constitutionality of actions taken by the elected members of the N.C. legislature should be scrutinized. The judges denied the request without commenting on the argument. Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) praised the decision — and further criticized Cooper — in a press release.”Gov. Cooper continues to haul his political disagreements into court at the expense of North Carolina citizens — he should abandon his appeals and stop wasting taxpayer dollars attempting to prevent a bipartisan state ethics and elections board from overseeing his actions,” the release said.The new board merges the State Board of Elections with the State Ethics Commission and requires that half of the members be Republicans and half Democrats, all appointed by the governor. In the previous arrangement, the governor’s political party would have had majority control over the board of elections.