June 25, 2020 | By
“RALEIGH — North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest announced via social media and through his office on June 25 that he plans to pursue legal action against Governor Roy Cooper in what he contends are the implementation of unlawful executive orders for the state.”
“Today, I notified Governor Cooper that, as a member of the Council of State, I will be suing his administration for violating the Emergency Management Act. The Governor has repeatedly ignored the law, enacting mandates that selectively target the businesses and citizens of North Carolina without concurrence from a majority of the Council of State,” Forest announced.
Forest drafted a letter to the governor on Thursday, June 25, notifying him of the action and requesting the ability to use independent counsel.
“Before I officially file my suit, the Governor is required by law to approve the use of independent legal counsel,” Forest added. “State agencies in North Carolina are required to use the Attorney General’s office to file lawsuits or else get an exception from the Governor. As the Attorney General has been responsible for drafting the unlawful Executive Orders I’m challenging, I have decided the only path forward is with independent counsel.”
Cooper announced during a media briefing a day earlier that he was extending Phase Two of the state’s reopening until July 17. Phase Two was initially scheduled to expire on June 26. Cooper added a statewide mandate requiring the use of masks or face coverings as part of the phase extension.
“The North Carolina Constitution does not create a unitary executive, but rather disburses executive power throughout the Council of State,” Forest’s letter to the governor reads. “Your exercise of these emergency powers without the concurrence of the Council of State makes it impossible for me, as Lieutenant Governor, and all of the other members of the Council of State to fulfill our oaths to uphold the laws of North Carolina.”
Letter to Gov. Cooper from Lt. Gov Forest: