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Lawmakers disqualify Cooper's session call

Posted June 8

— State lawmakers are disregarding Gov. Roy Cooper's call Wednesday for an extra session to redraw the legislative districts struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thursday morning, House Speaker Tim Moore ruled in favor of a constitutional appeal made by House Rules Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, that the call was not constitutional.

The state constitution gives the governor the power to call lawmakers into an extra session "on extraordinary occasions, by and with the advice of the Council of State."

Lewis argued that there is no "extraordinary occasion" here because the General Assembly is already in regular session and can conduct its business in regular order. He also argued that a federal court order mandated lawmakers to redraw the maps in "regular session," not a special session.

Lewis also argued that Cooper had not "meaningfully complied" with the requirement to seek the advice of the Council of State before making the call.

After Moore ruled in favor of Lewis's protest, Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, filed an appeal of the ruling, but the appeal was voted down on party lines, 44-71.

The Senate quickly followed suit with a similar move, effectively canceling the extra session scheduled in both chambers for 2 p.m.

Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said the General Assembly was "thumbing its nose" at the courts and the state constitution.

"It's troubling that they prefer to fight about the process rather than draw the new map that North Carolina voters deserve to level the playing field of our democracy. The U.S. Supreme Court was unanimous in its decision, and there is no reason to delay the drawing of new maps," Porter said in a statement.

But Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, said lawmakers "refuse to be manipulated" by Cooper.

"Despite all his talk about separation of powers, it’s clear Roy Cooper wants to be North Carolina’s governor, legislature and, with this latest stunt, its judiciary too," Hise said in a statement. "The courts have yet to give the legislature direction on this matter, and we will be prepared to undertake a thorough redistricting process with ample notice and opportunities for public input when they do."

7 Comments

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  • Howard Roark Jun 8, 10:00 p.m.
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    lol. They've got a record of 3-17 in court when trying to defend their legislation. These clowns don't get much of anything right.

    But keep telling yourself that Robert.

  • Robert Swiger Sr. Jun 8, 5:09 p.m.
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    They did the right thing

  • Chad Stinner Jun 8, 4:22 p.m.
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    Hey, if the GOP wasn't to keep shooting itself in the foot go for it. Any attempt to redraw districts in any politically motivated way will simply result is massive lawsuits which will expose them to more negative light.

  • Raymond Mclemore Jun 8, 3:47 p.m.
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    As if they were going to try and represent the entire people of North Carolina. They care for their jobs only.

  • Stacie Hagwood Jun 8, 3:01 p.m.
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    So what I hear lawmakers saying is there is no need for a special session and they'll do it as part of the general session. I'm holding my breath.

  • Karen Hahn Jun 8, 2:04 p.m.
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    I don't understand what you are thanking them for. The illegal gerrymandering has to be fixed. Why not sooner rather than later. What is the purpose of the behavior that seems to me to be just more obstructionist "party before anything else" behavior? Why is it a good thing? I hope that you will enlighten me on this Mr. Holmes. Thanks.

  • Albert Holmes Jun 8, 1:22 p.m.
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    YES !!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU STATE LAWMAKERS !