The morning of Friday, May 14, 2021, for the safety of the people of the state, a law was necessary requiring people to wear masks in public.

By 1:30 p.m. on Friday, the law was not necessary and it was not dangerous to people’s health to go out in public without a mask or adhering to social distancing.

This – like everything else governing the lives of the people of North Carolina for the past 14 months – is by what Gov. Roy Cooper calls an executive order, but it sounds a lot like a royal edict.

If the COVID-19 emergency has lessened to the point that Cooper has decided masks are no longer required, isn’t it time for the state to stop being ruled by royal edict and go back to the representative republic that the North Carolina Constitution established.

The North Carolina law allowing the governor to take some drastic actions during a declared state of emergency requires the concurrence of the Council of State, which consists of the 10 state government officials elected statewide.

Cooper ran into problems with the executive order on March 17, 2020, closing down restaurants and bars. The Council of State did not concur.  According to emails sent at the time, some members of the Council of State made the reasonable request that they be allowed to read the executive order before officially concurring with it.  Others wanted a chance to discuss it.

Cooper went ahead with the executive order even though he did not have the concurrence of the Council of State.  Later, attorneys working for the governor found a workaround where Cooper could issue executive orders without the concurrence of the Council of State.

So, since March 17, 2020, the state has not been operating as a representative republic where laws are passed by the legislature but by executive orders, or royal edicts, by Cooper without the concurrence of anyone.

If the science, data and facts demonstrate that masks and social distancing are no longer required, isn’t it time for Cooper to quit being king and go back to being governor?

Back in March 2020, Cooper said that all of these executive orders restricting activities were needed to flatten the curve, so that hospitals would not be overwhelmed.  Now the curve isn’t flat – it is a sharp downslope, but the state is still being ruled by one man.

It’s time for North Carolinians to make up their own minds about what is best for them and their families and time for King Roy to go back to being Governor Cooper.