During the NCGA’s December power grab, they passed an unconstitutional bill that requires confirmation hearings for Gov. Cooper’s appointments. Cooper filed a lawsuit challenging HB17, and now a superior court has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the legislature from implementing the law. A full hearing will take place on Friday.
During Tuesday’s court proceeding, which took place via telephone, Cooper’s attorneys asked for a three-day temporary restraining order to stop Hall’s hearing.
Jim Phillips, a Greensboro attorney who represents Cooper, said the Senate confirmation hearings were unconstitutional.
“The Senate is simply not following the law,” he said.
The section of the Constitution that refers to the Senate’s ability to give advice and consent is meant for Constitutional offices, not statutory ones. Phillips argued that Cooper’s appointees were for statutory offices.
Additionally, Cooper has yet to formally notify the Lieutenant Governor of his appointees and has until May 15 to do so. Phillips argued that because of that, the Senate was acting prematurely in scheduling the confirmation hearings.
If an appointee was to be denied, “there will be disarray,” he said, adding that they could even accept another job between the denial and the court ruling.
Martin Wharf, a Raleigh attorney representing Berger and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, said the clause about the Senate’s ability to give advice and consent on constitutional offices was a bare minimum, not a limitation.