Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina's largest business group says it is backing the General Assembly in an ongoing court fight between lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory over appointments to state boards and commissions.
The N.C. Chamber is not only a large trade group that represents the state's largest employers, it is one of the state's more active political players.
"The decision to sign on to the amicus is consistent with the organized business community's long-standing support for the important role of the Rules Review Commission," Chamber President Lew Ebert wrote in a letter to McCrory dated May 4. "The lawsuit places the existence of the RRC, along with other important commissions, in jeopardy."
McCrory won a Superior Court victory in the case earlier this year. However, the controversy is on appeal to the state Supreme Court.
At issue is whether lawmakers can make appointments to boards and commissions that control executive branch functions. Although the suit initially targeted appointments to the Coal Ash Management Commission and two other environmental panels, a broad ruling could affect dozens of commissions. The Rules Review Commission, which serves as a check on state agencies when they develop new regulations, is one of those.
Ebert's letter says the chamber will be one of seven business groups signing onto the same brief. As of Monday afternoon, there were no amicus briefs logged in the Supreme Court's electronic filing system.
The chamber's letter emphasized it was still largely supportive of the McCrory adminsitration.
"It's a sad commentary that some prefer the good 'ol boy system that is inefficient, unaccountable and unconstitutional," McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said late in the day.