North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest went into more detail about the lawsuit he plans to file against Gov. Roy Cooper over his executive orders closing down the state’s economy at a press conference on Monday, June 29.
Forest said that he was filing the lawsuit because, “This is the only option left on the table as all others have been exhausted.”
Forest repeated twice, “This lawsuit is not interested in the substance of Gov. Cooper’s orders.”
He said, “It specifically addresses his lack of authority under the emergency management act to shut down North Carolina without the concurrence of the Council of State.”
The Council of State is made of the 10 state officials elected statewide: Gov. Cooper, Lt. Gov. Forest, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Attorney General Josh Stein, Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey, Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry, Commissioner of Agricultural Steve Troxler, State Treasurer Dale Folwell and State Auditor Beth Wood.
Forest said that in March, a few hours after Cooper made the announcement on social media that he was going to close down restaurants, he contacted the members of the Council of State and asked for their concurrence.
According to Forest, while the members of the Council of State were voting by email Cooper, held a press conference to announce his executive order.
Forest said, “The majority of the Council of State voted not to approve the executive order because the governor had allowed no time for discussion of an order that shut down 11 percent of the state’s economy without sufficient time for those impacted to prepare.”
Forest said that Cooper had “not sought concurrence on six separate executive orders.”
Forest said, “From the beginning of our country Americans have rightly been suspicious of executive power. When the governor is delegated power it is not absolute. There exists a system of checks and balances, which is necessary to ensure that we respect the freedom and the will of the people. One person in the position of governor or secretary of health is not allowed under the law to shut down wide swaths of the economy indefinitely.”
Forest is the Republican candidate for governor and is running against Cooper who is the Democratic candidate.