Gov. Roy Cooper again sues GOP lawmakers over appointment powers

Gov. Roy Cooper (Gerry Broome)

North Carolina's new Democratic governor has again sued Republican legislative leaders over laws that he argues are unconstitutional because they erode his powers.

Gov. Roy Cooper sued in state court Friday seeking to block enforcement of several laws. One reduces the number of Court of Appeals judges from 15 to 12 through attrition. It prevents him from replacing the next three judges who resign or retire.

Cooper also wants voided a law from last December giving the wife of then-GOP Gov. Pat McCrory's chief of staff a spot on the state's Industrial Commission until 2025. There are also six other boards and commissions to which Cooper says he can't appoint a majority of members.

RELATED: Full copy of the lawsuit (.pdf)

"Headed into the Memorial Day weekend, Governor Cooper is once again flooding our courts with more partisan warfare, rather than working with the legislature to find solutions to our common problems," said NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes in response to the lawsuit. "It is clear that he wants to take every minor legislative disagreement to the courts and ask them to serve as legislators instead of judges."

Cooper already sued twice over other laws approved just before he took office, with mixed results.

"So we don't understand why he feels suing three times in less than six months is a good way to accomplish that goal (of working together)," Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said. "(W)e wish he would heed his own advice rather than filing endless lawsuits bankrolled by the taxpayers to elevate his own political power."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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