Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) responded Wednesday to news that Gov. Roy Cooper filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to block Senate Bill 68 from becoming law, in spite of the legislature’s full compliance with a three-judge panel’s earlier order and override of his veto.
“Even though the legislature disagreed with the three-judge panel’s ruling, we respected the court and fully complied with their order by ensuring the governor will make all appointments to the bipartisan ethics and elections board. It is outrageous for Gov. Cooper to now ask the very same judges to block the modified board that met their requirements to the letter, simply because he wants total control of ethics and elections oversight. It would be a disgrace if these judges allowed themselves to become the governor’s political pawns and failed to respect the legislature’s constitutional authority to make laws,” he said.
Senate Bill 68 created a bipartisan ethics and elections enforcement board with eight appointments, all made by the governor, evenly split between the two major political parties in the state.
The three-judge panel had concerns with an earlier version of the law regarding the division of appointments between the legislature and the governor. Despite Gov. Cooper’s veto, SB 68 addressed those concerns by allowing him to make all appointments to the new board.
Earlier this week legislative leaders filed a motion with the same three-judge panel and another motion with the N.C. Court of Appeals asking them to affirm that the new law addressed their concerns and dismiss the governor’s case, in an effort to provide certainty on the enforcement of our elections and ethics laws once and for all.