While the December power grab from Republicans in Raleigh is still being sorted out by the courts, they’re doubling down with another legislative effort to limit Governor Cooper’s powers. The News and Observer is out with a scathing editorial, slamming this power grab. It really is a must read:
If they could, Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly would likely take away Gov. Roy Cooper’s authority, period. All of it. No Cabinet. No staff. No car. No mansion.
And they’d chuckle about how they paid back Cooper, a former legislator himself, for the heinous sin of — winning the governor’s office over Republican incumbent Pat McCrory, a fellow they weren’t crazy about anyway. Cooper won that office by a slim margin, but he did win with the most votes from North Carolina citizens. He was their choice, whether Republicans like it or not.
But in their latest infantile gambit, Republicans seek to take away from Cooper his right to appoint judges. One will would reduce the size of the state Court of Appeals just as three Republicans are retiring from that 15-member court. Those three would be replaced by gubernatorial appointment, which likely would mean three Democrats.
A respected former member of the court, Martha Geer, says GOP claims that a reduced workload has justified the reduction in members is just wrong, that the court has been working to reduce an overload for years.
Also in the mix from Republican Rep. Justice Burr, a bail bondsman from Albemarle, is a bill to have the legislature appoint special Superior Court judges who fill court vacancies and travel around the state to plug gaps in some counties. That power now lies, appropriately, with the governor. Burr’s logic is absurd: He says Cooper lost in his conservative district, and therefore wouldn’t appoint the kind of judges his constituents would want.