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NC Lt. Gov. Dan Forest Files Suit Against Gov. Cooper

The North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has filed a lawsuit against NC Gov. Roy Cooper. According to Lt. Gov. Forest’s claims, seven executive orders related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) Pandemic were not approved by the Council of State.

In part, Lt. Gov. Forest’s filing states the following.

“… The executive power of the governor is not unlimited and portions of the overall executive power may be vested in other executive officials as “prescribed by law.”…

… [T]he Emergency Management Act is an exercise of the General Assembly’s authority to “prescribe by law” the powers and duties of the members of the Council of State, including the Lieutenant Governor, as the Emergency Management Act places the duty on the Council of State to consider carefully the exercise of the most expansive of the Governor’s emergency actions, and places the power to check the exercise of those powers with the Council of State by requiring concurrence in those actions.

The “shutdown orders” were to be approved by the Council of State, according to Forest. He also explains some of the orders given by Gov. Cooper actually fall under the responsibility of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen. In addition, Forests claims any quarantine or isolation order “shall not exceed 30 days” without approval from a Superior Court judge.

Lt. Gov. Forest is requesting the current executive orders be canceled in the lawsuit, and no new orders given until a majority approval from the Council of State is received. Gov. Cooper has not sought approval from the Council of State or the Superior Court as directed by law in some incidences, according to Forests filing.

Currently, the Council of State includes the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor and Commissioner of Insurance.

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