Source: Associated Press
A judge ruled against Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest this week and rejected Forest’s demand that the executive orders Governor Cooper put in place to protect North Carolinians be removed, AP reports.
“The court finds no statutory language upon which it can base the limitation the lieutenant governor invites — to confine the governor’s exercise of power …. to only a local or regional area,” Judge Jim Gale wrote. “The language requires the opposite conclusion by suggesting that the governor must act beyond the confines of the local jurisdiction when ‘the scale of the emergency is so great that it exceeds the capability of local authorities to cope with it.’”
Forest argued that the Council of State should have more say in broad actions like the executive orders put in place by Cooper earlier this year. However, none of his fellow Republican members on the Council joined with him in his failed lawsuit.
“We won the preliminary injunction hearing in the Forest v. Cooper case. LG Forest’s request for a preliminary injunction was denied. Gov. Cooper’s executive orders protecting the public health remain in effect,” Attorney General Josh Stein tweeted. “Late last night, LG Forest dropped his lawsuit against Gov. Cooper, deciding against appealing the Court’s decision. Therefore, Gov. Cooper’s executive orders protecting the health and safety of NCians stand,” Stein tweeted.
Cooper’s executive orders have had “a high-winning percentage in court,” the Associated Press reports. Forest has decided to drop the lawsuit given its likely defeat if pursued further.